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Facing the reality of violence against women in Moldova

(right to left): UNICEF Representative in Moldova, Ray V. Torres; UNICEF Project Officer on Violence against Children, Viorica Cretu at the UNICEF press conference held on the eve of Internaitonal Women's Day.
© UNICEF Moldova/2007/A. Otel
(right to left): UNICEF Representative in Moldova, Ray V. Torres; UNICEF Project Officer on Violence against Children, Viorica Cretu at the UNICEF press conference held on the eve of International Women's Day.

In Moldova, 27 per cent of women have experienced violence at least once since the age of 15.

UNICEF and the Gender-Centre welcome the adoption by the Parliament of Moldova of a law on Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence

    CHISINAU, 12 March 2007 - UNICEF welcomes the recent adoption of a law by the Parliament of Moldova which aims at preventing and combating domestic violence. Adopted on 1 March, this new law creates a legislative framework in the area of domestic violence in general. Specific provisions on children are also included. It provides for the protection of victims and the creation of rehabilitation centers and other support services.

    UNICEF held a press conference on the eve of International Women’s Day to highlight the prevalence and impact of violence on Moldovan society.

    “Violence can never be justified. It must be eradicated,” said UNICEF Representative in Moldova, Ray V. Torres, at the press conference. He expressed his wish that fewer Moldovan women experience violence within the family in the coming 12 months.
    In the Republic of Moldova, 27 per cent of women over 15 years of age have experienced violence in the home at least once. This is according to the 2005 Demographic and Health Survey (DHS) carried out by the government with the support of USAID, UNICEF and UNFPA which was published at the end of 2006.

    “All social and economic indicators suggest that a society cannot fully develop if it discriminates against an important part of its population. In the case of Moldova, currently about one third of women and children suffer from this form of discrimination,”  - UNICEF Representative in Moldova. 

    The UNICEF Representative insisted on the importance of negating certain myths that prevent the problem being effectively addressed. One of the pervasive myths is that violence against women is mainly a rural phenomenon. However the 2005 DHS showed that the difference between the incidence of violence in rural and urban areas is relatively insignificant (29 per cent and 24 per cent respectively). In addition, violence is not only a problem affecting disadvantaged families. Although in the poorest families the incidence is higher (33 per cent), the incidence of violence in families that are better off is also significant (22 per cent). “Education makes the difference,” said Mr. Torres.

    Violence isn’t just a concern within a family. It is a problem with many consequences for the future of children and for society as a whole. Domestic violence drives children onto the streets and thus makes them vulnerable to all kinds of risks including child trafficking. It is one of the root causes for child abandonment, institutionalization, substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.

    The President of the non-governmental organization Gender-Centre, Valentina Bodrug-Lungu, also addressed the UNICEF press conference.  “Adopting the Law on Preventing and Combating Domestic Violence is an important step in the elimination of this social scourge. Enforcing the law is the next step,” said Bodrug-Lungu. “The most important outcome of this will be that finally every man, woman and young person understands that domestic violence is unacceptable, that it affects all family members and threatens the security of our society,” Bodrug-Lungu continued.

    Mr. Torres welcomed the Moldovan government’s commitment to eradicating domestic violence. In 2006 UNICEF supported the government in developing the draft National Action Plan on preventing and combating violence against children. This document is currently being examined by relevant ministries. “We would like to encourage the speeding-up of this process so that actions for the effective eradication of violence can be initiated as soon as possible,” the UNICEF Representative said.

    UNICEF successfully  advocated for the establishment of a specific Ministry of Social Protection, Family and Children. The recently created ministry is  a significant step forward in combating violence in the home as now the issue can be addressed and examined in the context of other family problems.

    UNICEF in Moldova also advocates for the revision of legislation to prohibit corporal punishment of children and to ensure that cases of violence against children are reported to professionals who are empowered to help the families.

    “All social and economic indicators suggest that a society cannot fully develop if it discriminates against an important part of its population. In the case of Moldova, currently about one third of women and children suffer from this form of discrimination,” the UNICEF Representative concluded. 

    For more information, please contact:

    Violeta Cojocaru, Assistant Communication Officer
    Telephone: + 373-22 22 00 34
    Facsimile:   +373-22 22 02 44
    Email: vcojocaru@unicef.org

     

     

     

     

     

    UN Secretary General's Study on Violence against Children

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    Study on violence against young people:  [PDF]

    Consultation on Violence against Children


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