“Your voice is key in fight against violence”. UNICEF and the Ministry of Justice launch a social campaign on preventing violence against children
The campaign in Ukrainian and Polish language is addressed at children and adolescents experiencing violence, as well as witnesses, parents and teachers. The aim is to sensitize society to this problem, encourage people to report violence and facilitate access to various forms of help. The Justice Fund is a partner of the project, supporting it financially.
Warsaw, 19 October 2023 - During an inaugural conference with the participation of the Undersecretary of State in the Ministry of Justice, dr. Marcin Romanowski and the UNICEF Country Coordinator, dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, the countrywide social campaign "Your voice is key in fight against violence" was officially launched. It was also an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the latest amendments in regulations protecting children against violence.
During the conference, child protection and legal experts, representatives of the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, the Police, local authorities and child helplines discussed strengthening the system of protecting children against violence, reporting violence against children and ways to help the survivors.
Violence is violence – no matter what. It can come in many different forms: physical, emotional, sexual, cyber violence, or bullying. However, regardless of its form, the experience of violence can have grave, lifelong consequences, from injuries and trauma, and even death, says Dr. Rashed Mustafa Sarwar, Country Coordinator for the UNICEF Refugee Response Office in Poland. I would like to thank the Ministry of Justice and the Justice Fund for our partnership in this very important campaign. I hope that it will reach as many children and adults as possible, both from Ukraine and Poland.
Every child deserves a happy childhood, full of love, respect and support. Physical, verbal or any other form of violence should not be part of a child's reality, says Deputy Minister of Justice Marcin Romanowski. Violence against children is not only an individual problem, but above all a social problem. The responsibility for combating it rests with all of us: society, state institutions and international organizations.
To raise awareness and help
According to experts, despite the long-standing social debate in Poland on the prevention of violence against children, many people still do not know how to get help in the event of child abuse. This is also the case for 39% of surveyed mothers who moved from Ukraine to Poland after February 2022 and took part in the UNICEF study “Barriers and demands to essential services among refugees” done in December 2022 and February 2023 on the representative group of respondents. The “Your voice is key in fight against violence” campaign aims to address this barrier and raise awareness of what violence is and how to recognize its various forms, to encourage those experiencing violence and witnesses to report it, as well as to facilitate access to various forms of help.
To defeat the monster
The campaign shows violence as a monster that stops children from talking about the problem, sometimes creating an insurmountable barrier. It also gives children experiencing violence and its witnesses a key to encourage them to speak out without feeling threatened, so that the monster disappears, and everyone who finds the strength to talk about violence becomes a key figure in the fight against it.
The joint campaign of UNICEF and the Ministry of Justice "Your voice is key in fight against violence" is addressed at both Polish and Ukrainian communities and available in two language versions. Various activities are planned as part of the campaign. In addition to information materials and leaflets, there are spots, expert debates and conferences planned. The campaign is implemented both in public space and online to reach the widest possible audience.
Here you will find help
Anyone who thinks they may be experiencing violence can seek support by contacting the number 116 111 (helpline for children and young people), number 222 309 900 (helpline run by the Justice Fund) and the helpline of the Ombudsman for Children: 800 12 12 12. These helplines provide confidential, free counselling services and anonymous support in Polish and Ukrainian. Those more comfortable discussing their case in writing, can use the helplines respective chats. https://bit.ly/m/TW%C3%93J-G%C5%81OS-JEST-KLUCZEM
To access various forms of help, please go to: https://spilnoinpl.org/article/yak-diiaty-iakshcho-vy-staly-zhertvoiu-abo-svidkom-nasylstva-v-polshchihttps://spilnoinpl.org/article/yak-diiaty-iakshcho-vy-staly-zhertvoiu-abo-svidkom-nasylstva-v-polshchi
The helpline's respective chats are available here: https://bit.ly/m/TW%C3%93J-G%C5%81OS-JEST-KLUCZEM
There are over 300 centres throughout Poland financed by the Justice Fund that offer free legal, psychological and, if necessary, material assistance: https://www.funduszsprawedliwosci.gov.pl/pl/znajdz-osrodek-pomocy/
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit https://www.unicef.org/eca/.