Experts discuss replicating support centre for victims of domestic violence

May 26, 2023 - 08:00
Representatives shared difficulties, experience and proposed solutions and initiatives to improve service quality and operation of the one-stop service centre model to support women and girls hit by domestic violence during a conference on Thursday in Hà Nội.
Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyễn Thị Hà gives a speech at the conference. — Photo courtesy of the UNFPA

HÀ NỘI — At an assembly held in Hà Nội yesterday, representatives exchanged insights and suggested initiatives aimed at enhancing the performance and service quality of the pioneering one-stop service centre model, specifically designed to aid women and girls affected by domestic violence.

This conference was a collaborative endeavour, held by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), and the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).

The gathering represented a key element of the UNFPA's ongoing project – the development of a supportive framework for female victims of domestic violence in Việt Nam. Initiated in July of the previous year, the ambitious project is set to conclude in June.

The project aims to ensure the sustainability of the one-stop service centre model, named Ngôi nhà Ánh Dương (Sunshine House).

The one-stop service centre to support women and girls experiencing domestic violence was first established in Quảng Ninh Province in April 2020 under a project funded by the KOICA with a total budget of US$2.5 million.

Last year, three more Sunshine Houses were established in Thanh Hóa Province, Đà Nẵng and HCM City with financial support from the Japanese Government. Costs for operation are then covered by funding from the Australian Government.

The Sunshine House provides essential services to women and girls experiencing or at risk of gender-based and domestic violence.

It offers various services, including medical care, psychological support, counseling, emergency shelter, public protection, and legal and judicial services.

All services are based on the principle that victims of violence are respected, and their dignity is protected.

Representatives of the four Sunshine Houses said that service providers at the houses had to work very hard to meet the needs of local women and girls.

The four Sunshine Houses have supported more than 1,100 people experiencing gender-based violence.

The Sunshine Houses’ hotlines have received and handled more than 20,000 calls from people experiencing violence.

Appreciating the effectiveness and necessity of this model, Deputy Minister of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs Nguyễn Thị Hà said: "Việt Nam has always made great efforts to promote gender equality and prevent gender-based violence, especially violence against women and girls.”

“Replicating the model of one-stop service centres like Sunshine House is essential and important to support people experiencing gender-based violence to access integrated services. To do this requires the participation of all levels, agencies and organisations,” she said.

Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Việt Nam, said that UNFPA wanted to ensure that all women and girls in Việt Nam, including the most vulnerable, have the right to live a life free from violence and without loss of dignity.

“Women and girls will not be left behind in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030,” she said.

Cho Han-Deog, country director of KOICA Việt Nam said KOICA considered gender equality an integrated content in its official development programmes and projects.

Speaking at the conference, the representatives all agreed that the one-stop service centre model replication was consistent with Việt Nam's laws, policies and priorities in response to gender-based violence and domestic violence. — VNS