News

The guest of the program was Attorney Eliza Gyurjyan. 06 Nov 2020

The adoption of the RA Law “Prevention of Domestic Violence, Protection of the Victims of Domestic Violence and Restoration of Solidarity in the Family” created a number of protective mechanisms through which a person who has been subjected to domestic violence could be provided with appropriate assistance under the danger of real threat.

The mechanisms existing within the framework of the Law – warning, the decision for emergency intervention, protective decision – are aimed at preventing violence, protecting the survivor.  

The survivors often apply to support centers but not immediately to an attorney. It has a positive effect as the woman first receives psychological assistance, come to psychological balance, after which the legal process begins, in case of the need. The Center’s lawyers and attorneys being familiar with the case, the psychological state of the woman, work more easily with the case than specialists in the field who mainly have cases with administrative issues.

It is also important to note the cooperation of the attorney with police and other state institutions for getting the relevant documents and information.

It should be noted that in some cases the reconciliation of family becomes possible due to behavioral changes of family members through getting information on their rights and receiving appropriate support․

As a result of the discussion, the means and mechanisms that enable the effective protection of women’s rights were identified.

“Women human rights defenders stepping up against gender based violence in Armenia” (2020-2022) project is implemented by the Coalition to Stop Violence against Women with the financial support of the European Union․

 

who we are 28 Oct 2020

Women's Rights Center (WRC) is a non-governmental, non-profit organization operating in Armenia. It is a voluntary union of people that have joined their efforts for the sake of accomplishing their shared goals to prevent domestic violence against women and their children, as well as to protect women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. The main elements of the organizational structure are the General Assembly, the Executive Board and the Advisory Board, the staff members, volunteers and interns. WRC also has its activists in all regional cities of Armenia. In 2017 Women's Rights Center has obtained Special Consultative Status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).

 

Vision

To see Armenia as a democratic country where women's rights and fundamental freedoms are respected as human rights, women are independent, safe, protected, empowered and free from all kinds of violence.

 

Mission

To support the democratic changes in Armenia through raising women's role in social, economic, cultural and political life,

To protect women's rights and gender equality, to change the mentality and attitude of the society towards women's problems.

 

Main goals:

• To prevent domestic violence against women and their children.

• To protect women's and their children's right to be free from violence.

• To support improvement of mechanisms of prosecution for domestic violence perpetrators and lobby their implementation.

 

Strategy

Since 1997 WRC worked out a long-term strategy "Breaking the Silence about Violence against Women”, which has been realized step by step till present. The comprehensive Services for women survivors and their children have been operating so far. Advisory Board The consultative body of Women's Rights Center is the Advisory Board, the aim of which is to support the activity of the Center in the sphere of domestic violence prevention, protection and prosecution, as well as protection of women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. The members of the Board are representatives of governmental and non-governmental structures as well as specialists dealing with women's issues. Executive Board The Executive Board is a decision-making body of the organization and consists of 3 WRC staff members. The aim of the Board is to promote organization's activities, consider new possibilities of its development and provide solutions for basic issues.

The guest of the program was Liza Grigoryan, the judge of the Yerevan Court of General Jurisdiction of First Instance. 23 Oct 2020

Liza Grigoryan, emphasizing the international experience and history, finds that it is relevant to prevent the problem right at the very beginning, taking into consideration the importance of the role of the psychologists, social workers, who should work with both survivors of domestic violence and perpetrators. “A punishment is necessary for creating justice or stopping the violence but it doesn’t solve the issue”, she says. Punishment is not excluded, but in order to reach the final result, other joint mechanisms should also be implemented.

All the functions assigned to the court within the Law and the resolution of the problems by the court result in regulation, the fair examination of the rights of the sides, otherwise, we will have to cope with a chaotic situation depending on the opportunities of the sides.

As a result of the discussion some judicial protection mechanisms of the women’s rights, the relevance of protective decision, the effect and consequences of the decisions made by the judges were identified.

The guest of the program was Zaruhi Hovhannisyan, the member of “Coalition to Stop Violence against Women”. 10 Oct 2020

The Coalition to Stop Violence against Women (hereafter Coalition), which creation is based on the October 1 incident, the assassination of 20-year-old Zaruhi Petrosyan and which unites 10 organizations operating in the field of women’s rights, set a goal to raise awareness about domestic violence, the existing problems, and call on the state to apply combined mechanisms for preventing cases of domestic violence in Armenia.

One of the important steps is considered as breaking stereotypes in the society, talking about the problem of domestic violence, making it a matter of public concern and, in general, informing the public about sexual, domestic, gender-based violence, because if the society denies the existence of such a problem, then how it can be objective, how a survivor of domestic violence can talk about her case. Consequently, the change in public perception becomes one of the main sectors of the Coalition.

The adoption of the Law on “Prevention of Domestic Violence, Protection of the Victims of Domestic Violence and Restoration of Solidarity in the Family” created levers that enabled to stand by the survivor of domestic violence, to protect her rights and to save from abusive relationships. It takes a long time, including appropriate psychological support, for the survivor to overcome the status of the victim, to get rid of the victim’s psychology, and for the perpetrator to avoid his violent behavior. And only she has the right to choose whether to reunite with her husband or not after the long recovering and have a feeling of being protected.

Speaking about the role of the state due to the Law on domestic violence, Zaruhi Hovhannisyan emphasized, “The State should not make any effort to restore the family or restore solidarity, but should protect victim, prevent violence and restore the survival of her victim’s psychology”. The implementation of these steps leads to the restoration of the family, thus the final decision belongs to the person subjected to domestic violence.

About us 09 Oct 2020

Welcoming Speech

 

I would like to welcome you to our web page. I hope this website will help you to have a better understanding of the activities we implement, topics we deal with and the ideas we strongly believe in and struggle for. Harmful traditional practices affecting women's rights are unfortunately still very prevalent in the country. The complexities of violence against women are vast and enormous and the issue requires our full attention. It speaks to our commitment to fight some of the biggest challenges of our time with common purpose and shared urgency.

To cast a glance back I would like to mention that since 1991 we have done much in changing public opinion and focusing it on the problems connected with women’s issues in Armenia. Numerous conferences, seminars and round tables, public and parliamentary hearings devoted to the basic problems of women’s rights protection have been organized collaborating with mass media, protecting women’s rights and supporting formation of gender policy in mass media.

Actually, the guarantees of the efficient work are permanent financial and ideological support from the state as well as from international organizations and donors; expansion of research on women’s rights which in their turn will help to develop efficient state policy and inclusion of the problem in the state budget; training of leaders of women’s organizations especially how to present and push forward interests of women’s NGOs at all government levels and international instances. It is also necessary to stimulate a closer cooperation between women’s NGOs and state bodies at the local, regional, national and international levels. Finally, of equal importance is the coordination of activity of women’s organizations to develop joint strategies and new methods on women human rights.

So, in order to strengthen women human rights, WRC will not leave any one behind and will work with all partners including, government, civil society and NGO's on women rights, as it is, therefore, our opportunity and our obligation to our future and ourselves is to establish, enforce and protect the right to be free from violence at the hands of any hostile force enabling women to take ownership of their lives, their bodies and their destinies.

The world cannot afford the costs of violence against women, it speaks to our commitment to fight some of the biggest challenges of our time presenting the most active part of public sector.

I am convinced that the day of our shared future has come and the issue of women’s rights has a natural sound in Armenia.

 

Susanna Vardanyan,

Founder and President of Women’s Rights Center

Awareness Raising and Educational Campaigns 09 Oct 2020

Awareness raising and educational campaigns on domestic violence are very significant for breaking silence on violence against women and making society take responsibility for ending it. Besides, they play important role for changing society’s attitude and mindset towards domestic violence. Women’s Rights Center (WRC) implements different awareness raising actions and educational campaigns to throw light upon domestic violence phenomenon, to increase knowledge of our society on violence against women generally and domestic violence particularly. WRC is implementing supportive services such as organizing trainings for WRC beneficiaries as well as for women interested in their human rights, particularly in the right to be free from violence, and organizing trainings for Police officers on Domestic Violence. WRC is also planning to organize trainings for women, women survivors subjected to domestic violence and Police officers in some regions of Armenia and in Yerevan which will end with round table discussions and writing recommendations. Besides this, under the funding from the European Union, Women’s Rights Center (WRC) is taking awareness raising actions through the series of the TV program named “Talks about women’s rights'' on Shant TV. Besides this, another effective means of information dissemination is offline promotional strategy which includes spreading information through booklets, leaflets and TV broadcasting as well as online promoting via social platforms such as facebook.com, twitter.com, instagram.com and youtube.com. The other online promotional tool is mailing list creation for keeping certain government, police structures, certain international and local NGOs as well as certain individuals updated and informed on WRC’s ongoing activities, news, services, publications and events. These activities serve as a link between society and Women's Rights Center on explaining what domestic violence is and our services in this regard. They also play significant role in transforming social stereotypes, promoting certain social behavior patterns and values. All activities, periodical actions, information campaigns and outreach programs realized by WRC are aimed at creating less indifferent and more intolerant attitude towards domestic violence, disseminating information on Women’s Rights Center’s supportive services for prevention of domestic violence in Armenia.

Video gallery 08 Oct 2020