The National hotline for prevention of violence received four times more calls than in previous year – “La Strada Ukraine”


The National hotline of the NGO “La Strada Ukraine” for prevention of family violence, human trafficking and gender discrimination presents report on its work in 2016

The National hotline of “La Strada Ukraine” for prevention of family violence, human trafficking and gender discrimination has received over 38,5 thousands of calls in 2016. This is four times more than in 2015. “However, it shouldn’t make us conclude that in 2016 all these cases saw a four times increase, comparing to 2015. These figures don’t reflect the statistics, they only confirm that people need such help and they are ready to come forward,” explained Kateryna Levchenko, president of the NGO “La Strada Ukraine” at a press briefing at Ukraine Crisis Media Center.

The majority of calls were related to family violence and gender-related violence. “They constitute 90 per cent of all calls which we received,” said Alona Kryvuliak, coordinator of children and adult National hotlines. Calls related to psychological problems resulting from family violence saw a 10 times increase in 2016; problems with health resulting from family violence saw a nine times increase. There were six times more calls from people asking for advice on how to act in situations of family violence, and eight times more emergency calls, when people were asking for help directly in the moment of violence. The number of calls about family violence in the families of demobilized soldiers also increased. “All these figures increased due to the fact that we started to work over the week-ends and on holidays, when the risk of family violence is on its highest peak,” Kryvuliak noted.

The number of calls from men has almost doubled: in 2016, they constitute 32,5 per cent, comparing to 17,9 in 2015. There was a record number of calls from Donetsk and Luhansk regions, comparing to previous years (3,5 thousands and 1,5 thousands respectively). 577 calls came from the occupied territories. In 70 per cent of all cases, people are calling at night.

758 of calls were related to human trafficking. In the majority of cases people were asking how to prevent themselves from becoming victims of the criminals if they are applying for a job abroad or are going to marry a foreigner; some people were asking requirements about their relatives who had gone abroad and were missing. More than 260 calls were complaints about gender-related labor discrimination, for instance, lower salaries for women, unwillingness to employ a candidate because of gender etc.

The number of calls from internally displaced persons has decreased, perhaps for the reason that they started identifying themselves as members of local communities.

Olga Kalashnyk, vice-president of “La Strada Ukraine”, noted that the hotline works in compliance with all the standards prescribed by the Istanbul Convention. It is anonymous and confidential. People can call both from fixed telephones and mobile phones from any city or village on the territory of Ukraine.