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Providing much-needed shelter to SGBV victims in Western Ukraine

In December 2022, the city of Khotyn, in Western Ukraine, opened the first SGBV shelter in the country since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion. With Canada’s support through the Achieving municipal breakthrough in the effective response to sexual and gender-based violence project ($14 million, 2021-2025) — and led by UNFPA, the Government of Ukraine and municipalities in key oblasts (provinces) — the shelter now offers a refuge to women and children who are experiencing violence.

The shelter also provides a safe space where survivors can access psychological support or legal advice, employment search support or help finding a new home. It can accommodate up to 12 heads of family, along with their children, for stays of up to 6 months. Since it opened, it has offered safe accommodation and psychosocial assistance to 28 survivors of GBV (19 women and 9 children).

“We have set an ambitious task for ourselves,” says Andriy Dranchuk, the Mayor of Khotyn. “The Khotyn community should become free from violence in all its manifestations and develop a strong network of specialized services to address gender-based violence. This is particularly important during the difficult times of war, when many Ukrainian women, men and children suffer from violence.”

A group of 3 men and 2 women, including Canada’s former ambassador to Ukraine, Larisa Galadza, hold a certificate. There are signs placed directly behind them.
The city of Khotyn opened the first specialized shelter for survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Ukraine since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion.
Credits: © UNFPA / Ukraine
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