Almost 28.5% of women (3 million women) in Romania are victims of physical and/or sexual violence throughout their lives, and 6% of women (600,000 women) fall victim to sexual violence. Thus, sexual violence constitutes a matter of national public health which requires urgent action. Moreover, sexual violence is one of the least reported and sanctioned crimes. In Romania, social services for victims of domestic violence and sexual violence are profoundly underdeveloped and fall significantly behind the European average, in that, for instance, there is no national helpline for victims of sexual violence and 71% of necessary shelter places for women are missing, according to the European standards which recommend one shelter place for 10,000 inhabitants. Furthermore, Romania lacks emergency sexual assault referral centres or specialized units within the emergency hospitals. Additionally, according to Law No. 217/2003 on preventing and combating domestic violence, the access to shelters is guaranteed only to women who are victims of domestic violence. Consequently, the victims of sexual violence cannot be accommodated in these centres unless the abuse was perpetrated by a family member.
WHO ARE WE?
The informal Network Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence is composed of the Equality and Human Rights Action Centre – ACTEDO, Association for Liberty and Gender Equality, FILIA Centre, Front Association, Association for the Promotion of the Rights of Romani Women E-Romnja, East European Institute for Reproductive Health, Association of Women against Violence AFIV -Artemis, CPE –Equality Partenership Centre, Society of Feminist Analyses AnA, QUANTIC Group, Association Alternative Step, Association Psihosphera, Centre for Mediation and Community Safety, Association VIVAD, Atena Delphi Association, Transcena Association, Anais Association, Euroregional Centre for Public Initiatives, the informal group “NO Means NO”. The network was created in 2013 by A.L.E.G. and is currently coordinated by the Equality and Human Rights Action Centre – ACTEDO.
WHY THIS PROJECT?
Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence appeared from the need to create a structured environemnt for disparate collaborations between Romanian NGOs which work in the field of gender equality and against gender-based violence. Currently, the network aims to contribute with expertise and good practices to the creation by the state of the first Sexual Assault Referral Centres (SARCs), in a separate room of the emergency department of county hospitals and in Bucharest, respectively, which would:
These centres correspond to the Romanian state’s obligations, as stated in The Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention), as well as EU Directive 29/2012 on the protection of victims of crime.
ACCOMPLISHMENTS & ACTIVITIES OF THE NETWORK:
Download as pdf here: Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence_Overview