Defense of Women--Public Organization of the City of Voronezh

ul. Liziukova 21, k. 127
394053 Voronezh
Tel/fax: (0732) 73-83-19 (home)
Tel: (0732) 78-53-86 (office)
Contact: Aida Gorbunova is the president of the organisation and director of the Crisis Psychological Service.

"Defense of Women" is a municipal public organisation established in October 1995 on the initiative of women of the city of Voronezh. Its purposes is helping women and children in crisis situations, promoting changes in the stereotypes of public opinion regarding the problem of violence against women and children, contributing to creation of non-violent relations in our society. 

Our activities proceed from the principles of voluntary application and confidentiality. All women irrespective of their age, social and material status have the right to apply. We are supported by the Department of Social Policy of the City Administration (Family, Women and Children Affairs Sector) and the Officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in the Voronezh oblast.

Our Goals:

- Get attention of the local community and the authorities to the problem of violence against women and children; 
- Provide immediate psychological assistance;
- Prevent suicidal attempts and to slacken psychological discomfort which victims of violence suffer from;
- Inform violence survivors of psychological, medical, social and legal advice services acting in the city;
- Educate in order to prevent violence in interpersonal relationships;
- Maintain contacts with similar organizations with the purpose of exchanging of experience and knowledge on gender problems.

Our Activities:

The Crisis Psychological Service aimed at helping women and children in crisis situations was created in September 1997. It is the only one in Voronezh as well as in the whole Central Black Earth Region. Its activities are supported by the authorities of one the districts of the city where the Service is located.

We provide women with the following services:

- Train the hot-line voluntary counsellors;
- Psychologist's consultation;
- Group training for women who have experienced violence and group training for social workers;
- Free consultations of the sexologist, gynaecologist, venereologist examining on AIDS and venereal diseases;
- Regular social attendance for women and children violence survivors.

Educational activities:

- in December, 15, 1997 a roundtable session " On Eradication of Violence Against Women" in association with the Department of Family, Women and Children Affairs working under the aegis of the Committee of Youth Affairs, representatives from the Crisis Centre "Anna" (Moscow) and officials from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, administration of Voronezh, physicians, journalist, leaders of public organisations was held.
- In July 21, 1998 a roundtable sessions " To Stop Violence Against Women and Children" on the initiative of the Committee on Social Protection of the Residents of the Kominternosky District of Voronezh was held. Social pedagogues from school, representatives of the Commission on the Minors' Affairs, law enforcement bodies including the Office of Public Prosecutor, lawyers and journalists took part in it.
- on January 13, 1999 a workshop "Violence in Families--Violence in the Society" with the participation of the American Bar Association (ABA) Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI) and representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, from the City administration, from the Office of Public Prosecutors and social workers, etc. took place;
- In March 13, 1999 a city action "Phone Call Day" was held.
- In March 18, 1999 a conference "Against Trafficking of Women Abroad with the Goal of Sexual Exploitation" in support of the All-World Conference "World Free From Violence Against Women" (March 8, 1999) was held;
- Self defense training (October1999 - May 2000)
- we constantly enlist the services of mass media on the problem of violence related to women and children;
- We take part in conferences, workshops roundtable sessions dedicated to the problem. 
- 08 to 10 December we trained the hotline volunteer to work with the hotline.

We plan:

-The seminar on family violence with the participation of the "American Bar Association (ABA) Central and East European Law Initiative (CEELI)" for representatives from the Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Office of Public Prosecutors 21-22.02.99
- Inform the community and mass media of the work of the Crisis Psychological Service.
- Organize the hotline for victims of  violence;
- work out and apply in practice educational programs: "Defense Against Violence School" for girls, "Preventive measures Against Sexual Coarsening Among Senior Pupils" for senior schoolchildren, "Self- regulation: Control of One's Feelings and Behavior" for women from unhappy families, "Ethics of non-violence" for teachers, "Humanistic Strategies for Personal Success", "Aggressive Behavior: Preventive Measures and Control"--lectures for the interested bodies and organizations.

We are looking for co-operation with  similar women's organizations at home and abroad.

Last updated:    August 1999

A print version of much of the information contained in this section can be found in the The Post-Soviet Handbook (Seattle and London: University of Washington Press, 1999).

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