Break the silence. We stand by you.
26 November 2022
United Nations, Government and NGOs launch the joint campaign to break the silence around gender-based violence in refugee and host communities
“Break the silence. We stand by you.” is a campaign launched today by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the empowerment of Women (UN Women), International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) jointly with the Ministry of Labour and Social Protection of the Republic of Moldova on behalf of the coordination mechanism on gender-based violence in humanitarian settings, the Intersectoral Gender-based Violence (GBV) Sub-Working Group.
The campaign aims to spread a clear message of zero tolerance of all forms of GBV and to raise the awareness of the refugee and host communities on the existing prevention and response services to gender-based violence in the Republic of Moldova.
The campaign kicks off during the 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence against women and girls campaign, which calls for global action to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts and share knowledge and innovations to end the global pandemic of violence against women and girls. The activities fall under the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE initiative to end gender-based violence by 2030.
The “Break the silence. We stand by you” joint campaign will run from November 2022 until March 2023 and will promote social cohesion, urging people from all walks of life to acknowledge, take a stand and act against gender-based violence.
Through a series of community outreach events, media partnerships and social media engagement, the partners will build on the ongoing dialogue about the issue, invite the service-providers and the communities to create a supportive environment and raise the awareness about the existing services, and foster accountability so that every humanitarian effort provides safe and comprehensive survivor-centered services to those affected or at risk of violence.
In Moldova, 63 per cent of women experienced psychological, physical or sexual violence from their partner during their lifetime. Two in five women (40%) say that they have experienced physical and/or sexual violence at the hands of a partner or non-partner since the age of 15. Since the age of 15, nearly half of women (49%) indicate that they have been sexually harassed. More than one in five women (22%) report that they experienced a form of physical violence at the hands of an adult before they were 15 years old.
More than 65 percent of the Ukrainian refugees in the Republic of Moldova are females. Women and girls caught up in the conflict, on the move, at border crossing points face increased risks of gender-based violence, exploitation and abuse. Young women traveling alone are at increased risk of trafficking for sexual exploitation at border points where document control and registration processes are patchy.
The Intersectoral GBV Sub-working Group brings together more than 63 national and international organizations, women led organizations, and government entities. The members of the group partner to strengthen gender-based violence prevention, risk mitigation and response, and ensure that refugee women and girls’s rights, including their right to live free from violence, remain at the centre of Moldova’s humanitarian response.