Ukraine

Population size: 

2019 - 44,385,155 [1]

2016 - 44,439,000 [2]

2016 including Crimea - 44,624,000 [3]

Number of people experiencing domestic abuse each year:

MP Iryna Lutsenko claims: 165,000 women report on Domestic Violence cases annually (to law enforcement). But number of victims are 5x higher. [4]

Based on the extrapolation of the GBV survey data onto the entire population of Ukraine, the estimated number of women aged 15-49 years suffering from physical and sexual violence is 1.1 million annually. [5]

According to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) led Survey on Violence against Women in 2019 76% reported experiencing physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence in the last 12 months. [6]

No research on male victims or other gender identities.

Cost of domestic abuse to the economy each year:

UNFPA: With latency adjustments, the economic costs of violence against women totalled up to $208 million in 2015, or 0.23% of Ukraine’s GDP. This simulated estimate is nearly 20 times as high as the estimate based only on the registered violence cases ($10.8 million in 2015) [7]

Estimated % change due to COVID-19:

National Hotline on Combatting Domestic Violence: 26% increase in calls (in the first 2weeks of quarantine). In April, 113% increase in clients, in comparison to early March. [8]


Current law and policy:

On 4 November 2019, ahead of the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, Ukraine announced their commitment to a zero-tolerance policy on Gender-Based Violence, and in strengthening the survivors’ rights and access to support services (i.e. legal, social, psychological and healthcare). 

Ukraine commit to implement its national policies based on newly developed legislative framework in order to achieve that all survivors of domestic and gender-based violence are aware of their rights and have access to quality and comprehensive services, including legal protection, social and psychological and health care support and rehabilitation while society in Ukraine develop zero tolerance for violence and actively counteract this horrific phenomenon. 


The key step forward in national policy on violence response and prevention are: 

  • At all levels - from the national to the community level - implement coordinated policies for a systematic response to violence so that each case appropriately addressed by responsible institutions and/or service provider;

  • Establish a holistic system of quality and accessible survivor cantered services, including legal protection, social and psychological, health care support and rehabilitation, taking into account the special needs of persons with disabilities, pregnant women, the elderly, children and disabled persons, IDPs;

  • Ensure the sustainability of funding sources for the system of prevention and response to violence;

  • To establish a system of professional training of service providers of all levels;

  • Guarantee full access for survivors to the protection of law enforcement services and justice, as well as free legal aid;

  • Ensure the inevitability of bringing the perpetrator to justice according to the national legislation provisions;

  • To create a zero-tolerance in society for any manifestation of gender-based violence in the private and public spheres, overcoming widespread gender stereotypes. Ensure that citizens perceive violence as a violation of human rights, are prepared to counteract it and to be are aware of the possibilities of helping the survivor and bringing the perpetrator to justice. [9]


In recent years, the Ukrainian government has introduced legal and law enforcement measures to combat against Domestic Violence. 

In January 2017, Ukraine government introduced legislative protection that establishes criminal liability for domestic violence cases. 

The law came into effect in 2019. [10]


In September, 45 police antidomestic violence units (POLINA) were launched across Ukraine. 

However, these legal and institutional measures fell short of providing an effective system for preventing and addressing domestic violence. Thus, the police were poorly trained, if at all, to use the new protocols. In eastern Ukraine, for example, Amnesty International documented cases of police being reluctant to issue urgent protection orders when confronted with instances of domestic violence. In rare instances when urgent protection orders were issued by police or restraining orders were issued by judges, they were not effectively enforced. [11]

The Ukrainian government has demonstrated commitments with UN and EU through involvement in discussions on Domestic Violence. 

Officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MoIA) and police officers specialised in preventing and combating domestic violence participated in an online seminar (webinar) to address the issue of sexual and gender-based violence, and also violence against children, under the COVID-19 quarantine. (30 April 2020)  [12]

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka held a high-level meeting with the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, Sergiy Kyslytsya, about how to effectively adomestic violenceance gender equality and women’s rights in Ukraine. Mr. Kyslytsya stressed the importance of educating people about the meaning of gender equality and providing information to women about their rights. After the meeting, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka announced Deputy Minister Kyslytsya as the first HeForShe champion in Ukraine for his sincere commitment to promoting gender equality. 


Later that day, Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka met Ukrainian Members of Parliament (MPs) to once again highlight the criticality of ratifying the Istanbul Convention and to discuss achievements and challenges in passing legislation that protects and adomestic violenceances women’s rights in Ukraine. “Ukraine achieved a lot in ensuring gender equality. I hope for further steps in this direction. Putting gender equality above politics is crucially important. Let us aim that by 2030 gender equality is a rule rather than an exception.” said Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka, ensuring MPs that UN Women will provide support along this path. [13]

Ukraine has signed, but not ratified the Council of Europe’s Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention 2011) 

The United Nations in Ukraine urges Ukraine to expedite the ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (Istanbul Convention), heeding the voices of 25,000 citizens who have signed a Petition to the President of Ukraine - calling for action. 

Gender-based violence against women and girls is not only a violation of human rights; but devastates the lives of women and families across the country. Here in Ukraine, women constitute 86% of the survivors of rape, and 78% of the survivors of domestic violence. 

The devastating impact of this violence on women is clear; but what is less-often apparent is the deleterious impact on families, on the community, on the economy – and the country’s development writ-large. [14]


Frontline Services:

 

Sources


[1] The World Bank, (1).

[2] WHO: Ukraine

[3] UN, “Country Profile: Ukraine”

[4] UNIAN, “Domestic violence now criminal offense in Ukraine” (7 December 2017)

[5] UNFPA, “Economic Costs of Violence Against Women in Ukraine” (2017)

[6] UN Women, “Global Database on Violence Against Women – Ukraine”, (evaw-global-database.unwomen.org)

[7] UNFPA, “Economic Costs of Violence Against Women in Ukraine” (2017)

[8] UNFPA, “News: When quarantine is unsafe: Domestic violence survivors seek help in Ukraine” (15 April 2020)

[9] Nairobi Summit ICPD, “Ukraine free of gender-based violence” (4 November 2019)

[10] K. Semchuk, “Ukraine‘s legislation on domestic violence gets a reboot - but is it enough?” (4 March 2020)

[11] Amnesty International, “Human Rights in Eastern Europe and Central Asia: Review of 2019”

[12] EUAM Ukraine, “Domestic violence and quarantine: situation becomes more grave under lockdown” (1 May 2020)

[13] UN Women, “Coverage: UN Women Executive Director visits Ukraine and Moldova” (9 June 2017)

[14] United Nations Ukraine