Chirsova strives to become a violence-free community in the next two years

Chirsova village, populated by Bulgarian and Gagauz ethnics, situated in Gagauzia region of the Republic of Moldova, has committed to reduce cases or even eliminate domestic violence over the next two years. The initiative is part of a global project implemented by the UNDP and supported by the Republic of Korea.

Besides prevention and raising awareness component, the project envisages the establishment of a safe space for survivors of domestic violence in the region. So, women may access psychological counseling, social and legal assistance. At the same time, women may benefit from advice to find a decent job and secure income. Additionally, the service will pilot-test global methodologies with results in prevention of gender-based violence. This pilot intervention in Chirsova will then be replicated in other communities in the Republic of Moldova.

So, as an absolute first for the region, police officers, social assistants, educators will join their efforts under the umbrella of a multidisciplinary team to address domestic violence and put an end to this scourge. The team was created and formalized by an administrative decision of Chirsova mayor.

The team will be coached by the UNDP to effectively address cases when lives and security of women and their children are at risk. At the same time, the team will work on prevention of violence by reaching out to community members, from school pupils to adults, to promote a culture of zero-tolerance to domestic violence.

Currently, the multidisciplinary team, local public authorities and community members are working on a local action plan to prevent and combat violence. As a premiere, this document will be elaborated in a participatory manner. It will enable local authorities to allocate and mobilize resources to ensure the operations of the combatting and prevention of GBV service. The Action Plan will embed short- and long-term actions in legal, social, educational and employment assistance fields.

The local team was trained to learn more about effective prevention of violence and depict the economic and societal costs. Also, a local exposure visit was organized in the community of Drochia, northern Moldova. In Drochia, services of counselling or both survivors and aggressors are available. Drochia was a pioneer to work on counseling of domestic aggressors in Moldova, back in 2012.

“It was a valuable exchange of experience for us. We want to create a space where women from Chirsova and the region could feel safe and receive all the assistance they need. It a challenging task for us, as a similar service in Gagauzia have never existed before,” noted Serghei Sapunji, mayor of Chirsova.

The pilot in Chirsova aims to join the prevention dots between the Sustainable Development Goals and risk factors for violence. Achieving SDG 5, which aims to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, will bring the country closer to accomplishing at least other seven SDGs which address risk factors, such as reducing poverty and inequalities, attaining good health and quality education, sustainable communities, peace and justice.