UNICEF Representative in Moldova, Ray V. Torres said, “Violence can never be justified. It must be eradicated,” and expressed his wish that fewer Moldovan women experience violence within the family in the coming 12 months.
Domestic violence has consequences for children and for society as a whole. In Moldova, it is one of the root causes of child abandonment, institutionalization, substance abuse and juvenile delinquency.
The President of the non-governmental organization Gender-Centre, Valentina Bodrug-Lungu, has also welcomed the new law. “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,” she said. “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.”
The UNICEF Representative stressed the importance of tackling the myths surrounding domestic violence in Moldova. One pervasive myth 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). Violence is also seen as 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.
Mr. Torres welcomed the 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 is on the ground in 155 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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