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Improving service provision to women with disabilities exposed to violence

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The orga­ni­za­tion pro­vid­ing sup­port to women with dis­abil­i­ties …IZ KRUGAVOJVODINA, in coop­er­a­tion with the Unit­ed Nations Agency for Women’s Empow­er­ment and Gen­der Equal­i­ty UNWOMEN and with the finan­cial sup­port of the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion con­tin­ues to work on improv­ing the sup­port sys­tem for women with dis­abil­i­ties expe­ri­enc­ing vio­lence. The activ­i­ties will be imple­ment­ed in ten munic­i­pal­i­ties in Ser­bia: Dol­je­vac, Kragu­je­vac, Mion­i­ca, Negotin, Novi Kneze­vac, Ras­ka, Uzice, Val­je­vo, Vran­je and Zabalj, and will last until April 2021.

Access to gen­er­al and spe­cial­ist ser­vices for women in the sit­u­a­tion of vio­lence is guar­an­teed by nation­al and inter­na­tion­al law and stan­dards, how­ev­er, women with phys­i­cal, sen­so­r­i­al impair­ments and intel­lec­tu­al dis­abil­i­ties encounter a myr­i­ad of obsta­cles. Women with dis­abil­i­ties feel detached from com­mu­ni­ty life, which attrib­ut­es to pre­vail­ing stereo­typ­i­cal per­cep­tion of dis­abil­i­ty, on top of gen­der-relat­ed pre­vail­ing stereo­types. They often have dif­fi­cul­ties in get­ting infor­ma­tion about pro­tect­ing their rights to live a life free of vio­lence and access­ing prop­er ser­vices.

The pan­dem­ic has uncov­ered and rein­forced the deeply root­ed mar­gin­al­iza­tion of women at all lev­els. Women with dis­abil­i­ties liv­ing in vio­lence are in a par­tic­u­lar­ly risky posi­tion, as they are now con­tin­u­al­ly exposed to vio­lent part­ners or fam­i­ly mem­bers. Their right to pri­va­cy is threat­ened, and thus the pos­si­bil­i­ty to seek sup­port.

Through activ­i­ties that will be imple­ment­ed in the next year in ten munic­i­pal­i­ties (Dol­je­vac, Kragu­je­vac, Mion­i­ca, Negotin, Novi Kneze­vac, Ras­ka, Uzice, Val­je­vo, Vran­je and Zabalj) we will raise aware­ness about the state of exist­ing ser­vices and the needs of women with dis­abil­i­ties, intro­duce new ser­vices, adapt exist­ing ser­vices and secure acces­si­ble, afford­able and qual­i­ty ser­vices and adapt­ed mod­els of com­mu­ni­ca­tion in the treat­ment of women with dis­abil­i­ties who have sur­vived vio­lence. Due to insuf­fi­cient vis­i­bil­i­ty of women with dis­abil­i­ties dur­ing and after the cri­sis and low aware­ness of their posi­tion and spe­cif­ic forms and man­i­fes­ta­tions of vio­lence to which they are exposed, activ­i­ties will focus on chang­ing the per­cep­tion of rel­e­vant deci­sion mak­ers, key actors at local and nation­al lev­el, providers of gen­er­al and spe­cial­ized ser­vices, women with dis­abil­i­ties and soci­ety as a whole.

We expect changes both at the indi­vid­ual lev­el of pro­fes­sion­als (work­ing in secu­ri­ty, jus­tice, health, and social pro­tec­tion) and at the insti­tu­tion­al lev­el, as local insti­tu­tions will be strength­ened by inter­nal pro­ce­dures and stan­dards of con­duct to bet­ter respond to vio­lence against women with dis­abil­i­ties.

This text was pub­lished with the finan­cial sup­port of the Euro­pean Union with­in the region­al project “Appli­ca­tion of norms, change of con­scious­ness”. The views expressed in this text are those of the authors and do not nec­es­sar­i­ly rep­re­sent the views of UN Women and the Euro­pean Union.

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Services …Iz kruga – Vojvodina

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Services ...Iz kruga – Vojvodina
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Disability Info Center
Helpline for women with and without disabilities experiencing violence
Free legal support
Psychological support
Organizing gynecological examination for women with disabilities
Sex-positive counselling center