A.L.E.G. Helpline:

0753 893 531

Program: M-F: 09-18

In case of emergency

call the

POLICE 112

 

ONLINE COUNSELLING

Art Exhibition ”Vio and the Stories of Free Mothers”


The campaign “I Can Do It Too” launched by A.L.E.G. to support women facing domestic violence enjoys the support and involvement of local artists and entrepreneurs. In the timeframe 2-10 December 2017, the Council Tower hosted the exhibition “VIO – the Stories of Single Free Mothers”, by artist Cynthia Loris in partnership with A.L.E.G. The artist chose a venue that difficult to reach (the top floor of the the Council Tower) on purpose, to convey through the giddiness and the weight of each step made on the steep stairs, the way abused women feel on their road to safety. This is the first time that the experiences of several survivors are turned into works of art. To observe confidentiality, the exhibition does not reveal any information that could lead to the identification of the people involved.

25075076_1958089074208789_8355661584404757373_o

One piece suggestively called ‘How Many KM2 of Bruises Has the Ruler at the M.E.’s Office Measured?” was inspired by the dimensions of bruises, as documented in a forensic certificate of a survivor. According to the Sibiu Forensic Medicine Office in Sibiu in 2017, 117 women victims of domestic violence have requested a forensic certificate. The exhibition includes works inspiring people to believe that together we can overcome domestic violence.

Instead of an opening night, the audience was invited to a closing event, to show that the repetitive situation of violence can come to an end. The closing event took place on Friday, December 8th, starting 4 p.m., on the top floor of the Council Tower.

Courage is characteristic of women who manage to start over by themselves, just as it is a defining feature of entrepreneurs. We are happy to have found not only artists, but also enterprisers sensitive to the topic of family violence. The natural cosmetics company Luthelo has marked our campaign through a special end-of-year batch of soaps, called Optimism and Trust, for faithful customers. Thus, 120 customers have received these gifts, alongside the message “I Can Do It Too” and information materials to help identify the various forms of violence. They are meant to help a friend clarify whether they are in a violent situation and inform them of where to go for help. The company Medical Corp supports the A.L.E.G. campaign by fitting their offices with a donation box, raising funds for women facing family violence. The campaign started in November with the Horizontal Newspaper activity “Success Stories That Do Not Make The Headlines”, organized thanks to the artist Dan Perjovschi, and with the “Vigil Night for Silent Witnesses” organized by the A.L.E.G. team in the Sibiu city centre.

Audio report (in Romanian) by Radio România Cultural: https://www.youtube.com/watch?

sapun luthelo

v=0t45NkhdITA

 

“I Can Do It Too” – Support for Women Facing Domestic Violence


Every year, around the 25th of November, the Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender – A.L.E.G. marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This year, A.L.E.G. organizes the campaign #ȘiEuReușesc (I Can Do It Too), aimed at encouraging women experiencing partner violence to break the silence and trust that they can live a life free of the violence.

The campaign started with the call “Tell Us How You Did It”, launched on the Facebook page alegromania. This is an invitation for women who have gotten out of an abusive situation to share their story, without revealing personal identification data. On November 24th, inspirational pieces of these stories will be posted on the Horizontal Newspaper next to the Radu Stanca National Theatre of Sibiu, thanks to the artist Dan Perjovschi, one of the main supporters of the A.L.E.G. campaign.

On the same Friday, at 4 p.m., at the fountain of Nicolae Bălcescu Street, the A.L.E.G. volunteers will issue a wake-up call to the community of Sibiu through the Vigil Night for Silent Witnesses. The silent witnesses are red figures symbolically representing women who have lost their lives because of domestic violence. Each figure bears the story of a real case, most of which had a long history of violence. Constantly blamed they might ruin their family, victims put up with everything, while everyone around them often chooses not to get involved, although many times they know what’s going on. After reading these stories, we would like the public to go home with a new-found motivation to take action, because many lives can be saved if offered help in due time.

thumbnail

As support services are important, on November 27th, A.L.E.G. will launch a support group for women facing abusive relations. A support group is a form of counselling led by a psychologist, which helps people overcome trauma by showing them they are not alone. Participation is free; to register, call 0753 893 531 or e-mail us at aleg_romania@yahoo.comFor further details, access www.aleg-romania.eu

In 2-10 December, the campaign continues with the exhibition VIO and the Stories of Single Free Mothers, by artist Cynthia Loris and A.L.E.G. The exhibition will take place at the top floor of the Council Tower. It is the first time that real violence experiences of several women are turned into pieces of art, with the purpose of talking about freedom. The piece suggestively called ‘How Many KM2 of Bruises Has the Ruler at the M.E.’s Office Measured?” was inspired by the dimensions of bruises, as documented in a forensic certificate. According to the Sibiu Forensic Medicine Office in Sibiu, this year, 117 women victims of domestic violence have requested a forensic certificate.

The campaign #ȘiEuReușesc is part of the project “From Victim to Survivor”, financed by Global Rights for Women and Vital Voices with the help of Global Funds for Women. The campaign is partnering with  Ashoka Romania through the program Ashoka Localizer and is supported by the famous Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi.

 

A.L.E.G. offers free counselling and legal assistance to victims of gender-based violence.

Gender Equality Festival: How was the 12th edition?


The 12th edition of the Gender Equality Festival took place in Sibiu between 21st and 23rd of September, an event for preventing gender discrimination and violence, organized by the Association for Liberty and Gender Equality – A.L.E.G., an organisation supporting women and children, victims of domestic violence.

Ziua Paci_Lant uman © dragos dumitruOn the 21st of September, the A.L.E.G. volunteers have marked the International Peace Day taking up the motto “Until there is peace for every woman” and forming a human chain to get the community’s attention on the need to take attitude against acts of violence. The International Peace Day was also marked by using stencils on the Horizontal Wall together with Dan Perjovschi and the A.L.E.G. team.

On the 22nd of September, approximately 80 high school students watched the Movie Girl Power, an event made possible with the collaboration of One World Romania. The movie depicts the life of girls and women passionate about graffiti in a predominantly masculine environment. This was followed by the first time Romanian projection of the movie “Have I told you I have been abused”, which won the State Excellency Award in Serbia, 2009.

The movie is based ont the accounts of young women which have been abused during childhood and stresses upon the fact that most sexual abuses take place in families and remain hidden years on end. The participants had the opportunity to discuss with the creator of the movie, Dušica Popadić from Incest Trauma Center from Belgrade about the ways in which we can protect children and youngsters. Dušica Popadić talked about the collaboration of their organization with the Ministry of Education for preventing abuse through several school subjects, from the earliest age.

Concurs In a RelationshipOn the 23rd of September, the young researchers from the „In a Relationship” project realized in 2016 by AVON and the Foundation Friends for Friends, Andrei Stupu and Diana Smeu presented the results of the national study they applied on the subject of teenagers and their relationships. The results show that a lot of teenagers go through abusive relationships without even knowing that it is abuse in the first place. The conclusions from the  research were illustrated through an exposition hosted by the Gong Theater which includes the creations of teenagers between 16-18 years from 8 cities in Romania.

The day continued with the contest “In a Relationship”: 15 high school students went through different practical exercises on assertive communication, recognizing different forms of abuse but also amusing tasks of practical skills through which they could demonstrate breaking the roles of women and men. At the event participated 5 representatives from The Platform for Gender Equality from The Republic of Moldova remarking: „The active involvement of young people from all over the country (including in activities of social research) is a perfect example of a good case practice which we want to implement back home – in the Republic of Moldova.”

Teatru forum_AThe festival ended with a theater forum show entitled “The party at the cabin”. The A.L.E.G. volunteers create in an yearly basis different scenarios through which they get to showcase to their generation peers about the causes and the form of gender violence, encouraging them to take attitude whenever they witness a sexism or violence manifestation.

“Like every year, the show was a success, bringing the message close to the spectators. I hope it offered a different perspective on couple and relationship issues to all the spectators like it did for me!” (Iulia R., spectator). During such a play, the spectators have the chance to intervene by replacing the actors and to propose changes in the actions and the behavior of the actors thus avoiding a situation of gender violence.

“The Gender Equality Festival is an important pillar in the fight against violence and I appreciate that you at the 12th edition.As we speak, there are young people around us in action and this aspect is very important: they can practically understand what domestic violence and gender equality means. Continue to play an important part in the fight for dignity and keep on paying if forward“ was the message from Alexandra Maier, the coordinator of social campaigns at AVON, present at the events.

The Gender Equality Festival – XIIth edition is an action financed by the Local Municipality and Council from Sibiu and co-financed by AVON.

The Festival in images

Gender Equality Festival: Sibiu, 21st-23rd of September


The Gender Equality Festival comes back on the 21st-23rd of September with an anniversary edition, the 12th edition!

The festival was the launching event of the Association of Liberty and Gender Equality – A.L.E.G. back in 2004 and since then it has remained one of the yearly recurring activities through which A.L.E.G. promotes in Sibiu’s community, especially among young persons, European values such as: equality between women and men, respect in relationships, tolerance and non-violence.Colaj FEG

We are different but equal”, ”I will never be anybody’s victim” were the messages created by the letter-volunteers, becoming a symbol of the festival. This year, taking into account the fact that we are witnessing an increase in violence and hatred, the festival marks The International Peace Day alongside the Women Against Violence Europe – WAVE Network and it will approach especially the issue of peace – at home and in the world - ”until there will be peace for every woman”.

The Gender Equality Festival is a campaign which encourages young persons to think „outside the box”, the TV-box or the mart-phone-box, to be able to identify the stereotypes which lead to violence and gender discrimination. We do this through social theater where spectators propose solutions, through film viewings and debating them and through street actions.

flyer-verso

The program for this year includes on the 21st of September the Human Chain for Peace Day, on the 22nd the first projection of the most known movie from the ex-Yugoslavian space which tackles the topic of sexual abuse – “Have I told you I have been abused?” for which we have as a guest the founder of the Incest Trauma Center from Belgrade, Dušica Popadić and on the 23rd of September the campaign and the contest “In a Relationship”, in collaboration with AVON.

The detailed program can be accessed on the Facebook event here.

Details about A.L.E.G. you can find on www.aleg-romania.eu

The Gender Equality Festival, the XII-th edition is a project financed by the Local Council and Municipality of Sibiu through the Community Agenda.

Romanian Teenage Girls Decide for Europe and Central Asia


A.L.E.G. is Organising in Sibiu the Final Selection for the 2017 With And For Girls International Award

Winner of the 2016 With And For Girls Award, the Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender – A.L.E.G. was asked to host in Sibiu the final selection of the organizations in Europe and Central Asia which are to receive the award this year. The award ceremony will take place in November in London, and the award comes with funding for the organizations to continue activities for girls.

The Europe and Central Asia winners will be decided by a panel made up of 4 teenage girls, aged between 16 and 18, recruited from Sibiu, Bucharest and Bacău, supported by an experienced A.L.E.G. volunteer, presently studying InternationaALEG_bannerl Relations at the University of Bradford, UK. In 23-24 July, in Sibiu, A.L.E.G. is holding a training for the adolescents in the panel, and then, in 25-28 July, they will interview the 10 organizations preselected by the With and For Girls Collective, choosing the four winners, which are to be publicly announced in November in London. The selection criteria are: activities based on girls’ needs, involving girls in the decision-making process and having programmes with impact at grass-root level.

The distinctive touch of this action consists of the fact that it gives Romanian teenage girls the opportunity to make their voices heard, granting an international award to organizations unfolding programmes for young people. The selection process itself was designed to encourage local organizations and communities to involve girls in the decisions impacting their lives and to emphasize the development of girls’ leadership skills. Thus, girls have the last word in selecting the winners and learn that they can play an important role in society. Moreover, the members of the panel will enrich their knowledge of human rights and equal opportunities.

The members of the panel were recruited by A.L.E.G. from pupils who have participated at educational sessions held within the programmes unfolded by the organization.

The With And For Girls Awards are granted annually by the With and For Girls Collective, which has committed to create a global funding initiative to identify and support strong local organizations working with and for girls. The Collective is made up of eight international organizations supporting girls’ rights: EMpower, Mama Cash, NoVo Foundation, Plan UK, The Global Fund for Children, Nike Foundation, Comic Relief and Stars Foundation.

Photo credit: Ioana Cârlig

#WITHandFORgirls #girlpanels #girlsdeliver #girlpower #girlsrights #yesallgirls #thisgirlcan #voice #dignity #agency #empowerment #equality #participation #changemakers #decisionmakers #girlled #girlfocused #localNGO #flexiblefunding #locallyled


Sibiu Marathon 2017 – Running for Our Cause


We are proud to present the runners who have signed up to support our cause at Sibiu Marathon 2017 “YOU CAN DO IT”.

siglaRefresh - CopyOur runners believe that change comes through young people. The elimination of gender-based violence is possible only through a professional effort invested in education for prevention.  As long as our children grow up with the same stereotypes that justify violence as a sign of passion – „whoever beats his wife loves her” as an old Romanian saying goes- we will continue to have new generations of victims and perpetrators. Through this project we build up on the experience already gained by A.L.E.G. with previous activities helping children and youth recognize abuse under all its forms, overcome the myth that the victim “deserves it”, report abuse and know what do to do to discourage perpetrators. We draft and promote educational material to be used by specially trained teachers to work with students and change the beliefs that make us accept violence.

We also thank our donor The Refresh Coffee Shop.

Bogdan Talasman
Diana Porumb
Dodu Pusa Doru
Ioana Cufteac
Irina Thiery
Isabela Vatavu
Loredana Kaschovits
Miruna Solomon
Vladimir Barbu

A.L.E.G. winner of WITH AND FOR GIRLS international award


Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender (A.L.E.G.) is one of just 20 organisations from around the world to receive a With and For Girls Award this year. As part of the award package, ALEG will receive US$15,000 of flexible funding and capacity building support.

The With and For Girls Awards is a global initiative to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.

ALEG_banner

Based in Sibiu, Romania –A.L.E.G. is recognised for its work providing support services for victims of violence among girls and young women in Romania, particularly those from disadvantaged families.

In 2015, an 18-year-old girl was gang-raped by seven boys in the eastern Romanian county of Vaslui. Despite the fact that three of the perpetrators admitted to the crime, a court released the boys from arrest. The case shocked public opinion, casting a shameful light on a culture of gender discrimination and violence in Romania. According to A.L.E.G., 24 per cent of Romanian women have suffered from partner violence and 14 per cent were exposed to violence by a non-partner. Women have little access to specialised services and evidence suggests that less than one per cent of offenders are punished.

ALEG also runs educational projects on sexual and reproductive health and rights as well as the Gender Equality Festival, a yearly gathering aimed at campaigning against gender stereotyping in Romania. The organisation has helped 1,431 people in the last two years, more than 60 per cent of whom are girls.A.L.E.G. works to tackle the core of the problem through lobbying and advocacy while offering direct support to the victims of violence and abuse. The organisation provides information, psychological counselling as well as social and legal support. In response to requests from survivors, A.L.E.G. set up an online counselling platform on its website where girls can discuss their concerns anonymously. Thanks to ALEG, survivors have reported gaining a better understanding of their rights and for the different forms, causes and effects of abuse.

Camelia Proca, the director and founder of the organization will be attending the award ceremony to take place on the 2nd of November in London, as well meetings with the rest of the winners and the donor organizations. “For A.L.E.G., the award is first of all a sign of recognition for our unique approach, emphasizes prevention and involves teenagers, particularly girls – in transforming power relations in family and society, towards sharing of power which means being stronger together, the opposite of overpowering. This is nothing but gender democracy and change begins with each girl that has respect for herself and demands respect from others. Everything we achieved in 12 years of work – from social service innovation to legislative changes like rape crisis centers – is the joint effort of a team that remained true to values of the organization despite the lack of state funding. This team always included girls who have grown up at the same time with the organization while building up new girl leadership.

 Muna Wehbe, CEO of Stars Foundation: “These 20 outstanding organisations demonstrate the power of grassroots movements and girl leadership to effect change, both in communities and in the world at large. The Collective is proud to be supporting the With and For Girls Award winners with flexible funding, which is still a rare asset for most grassroots organisations. We want to encourage more funders to trust and invest in girls to address the challenges that they face in their everyday lives. By doing so they are changing the future for the millions of girls worldwide who face discrimination simply for identifying as a girl.”

Further Information

  • The With and For Girls Collective is a group of seven organisations that share the belief that girls are vital agents of change.
  • In 2016 the Collective committed US$1million to a global awards process to identify and support strong local organisations working with and for girls.
  • The With and For Girls Collective is made up of: EMpower, Mama Cash, Nike Foundation, NoVo Foundation, Plan UK, The Global Fund for Children and Stars Foundation – the Collective’s convening partner.
  • The With and For Girls Awards do not focus on a particular theme, but instead are open to organisations with a range of development outcomes – from health and education to challenging negative attitudes towards girls in their schools, families and communities.
  • Recipient organisations with current annual organisational budgets between US$20,000-US$100,000 will receive US$15,000 of flexible funding. Winners will also receive capacity building support as part of the award package.
  • Recipient organisations with current annual organisational budgets between US$100,000-US$500,000 will receive US$50,000 of flexible funding. Winners will also receive capacity building support as part of the award package.
  • This year, 161 local organisations were nominated to receive the Award by 61 referral partners worldwide.
  • The 20 winning organisations are working with over 30,690 people across 17 countries.
  • With and For Girls Awards will be given out to organisations in five geographic regions – Asia and the Pacific, Europe and Central Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, The American Continent and the Caribbean, and The Middle East and North Africa.
  • Stars Foundation recognises and rewards outstanding local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to improve the wellbeing and life chances of children.

Photography credited to Ioana Cirlig/Stars Foundation.

We Need Education to Build Healthy Relationships!


Press release

„In order to build healthy relationships, we need education closely connected to the problems in the lives of young people, and the involvement of schools is essential” – this is the conclusion of the Gender Equality Festival,  after 3 days dedicated to the prevention of gender-based violence by promoting equality between women and men.

On Friday, October 14th, the counsellor of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Eugen Crai, and the State Secretary representing Ministry of Labour’s National Agency for Equal Opportunities between Women and Men, Ms. Andra Croitoru participated at the Conference Equality and Prevention of Gender Violence in Education”, listening to the thoughts and recommendations of the 10 high schools which tested the educational module proposed by A.L.E.G. in the school year 2015/2016. Premiere concurs Dezvatam violentaIt was no ordinary class, i.e. we did not sit at our desks listening to scientific theories. We were involved in role plays, encouraged to express our own opinions and to find solutions to actual cases of partner violence. All youngsters should go through this module, since we never talk about these things at home”, states Andrei-Gabriel Stupu, a former pupil of the “Anghel Saligny” Technical High School in Bacău, presently a pupil of the “Jean Monnet” Theoretical High School in Bucharest. Andrei and his colleagues in the 10th grade also won the grand prize of the video production competition “Unlearning Violence”. Some of their conclusions were: in a healthy relationship, the two share power, and jealousy is not proof of love! To see the video, access: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y9a_m8SgBP8. A special prize went to the pupils of the “Octavian Goga” National High School, Sibiu. During the project “GEAR against Intimate Partner Violence II”, funded through the European Union Daphne Programme, A.L.E.G. Trained 55 teachers and school counsellors to implement the module; subsequently, 274 pupils in Brăila, Bacău, Cugir, Cluj-Napoca, Sibiu and Slobozia went through the 13 hours of interactive activities. The A.L.E.G. Trainers also held a module with a group of 12 youngsters from the Sibiu “Gulliver” State Complex (including their educators), because the young people in the child protection system are vulnerable to repeated violence.  The children’s and teacher’s manuals can be downloaded at www.gear-ipv.eu. 14639833_700776973412281_4898310991858518588_nThe representatives of the two Ministries states in Sibiu that such materials and good practice examples are very necessary in Romania, which, starting this year, has the obligation to integrate violence preventive education in all levels of education, in accordance with the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

In parallel to the conference, in the centre of Sibiu, volunteers holding huge letters challenged passers-by to find the “Ingredients of a Healthy Relationship”, during the activity “Choose your words!”. Over 80 people were engaged, and the most common answers were “trust” and “communication”.

On Saturday, October 15th, at the Habitus Book Store, over 80 young people, and some parents participated at the forum theatre performance, in an attempt to change the ending of a theatre play – Chalet Party – created by A.L.E.G. volunteers and inspired from real events in high school pupil’s lives. This year’s performance brought to light some of the peer pressures that nowadays young people have to deal with in their relationships, i.e. girls, having a boyfriend who supports them financially, and boys, not be seen as henpecked and break as many hearts as possible. These pressures cause trouble for the couple, and sometimes violence. In order to solve the conflict, the participants suggested changes through which the true friends of the main characters choose get involved before getting to a conflict. Coordinator: Doriana Tăut, vice-dean of the Faculty of Letters and Arts, the LBUS Department of Drama and Theatre Studies.

The film “Stockholm”, offered by Transilvania Film and the “Gender Treasure Hunt” which took place in the historical centre of the city also drew the attention of numerous youngsters eager to look beyond clichés and stereotypes regarding the role of women and men in society.

A.L.E.G. has been organizing this event for over 10 years, allowing teenagers to come up with and implement activities aimed at other youngsters. The project taking the form of a festival aims at offering teenagers access to education targeted at preventing couple violence and at promoting healthy relationships in which power is divided between the two.

The 11th edition of the Gender Equality Festival was co-founded by the Sibiu Local County and the Sibiu City Hall through the Community Agenda.

The conference Prevention of Gender Violence in Education” marks the end of the project „GEAR against Intimate Partner Violence II”, funded through the European Union Daphne III Programme.

The competition Unlearning Violence” is funded through the funds raised by runners and supporters during the 2016 Sibiu Half Marathon, a sports fundraising event of the Sibiu community organized by Fundația Comunitară Sibiu (Sibiu Community Foundation).

Put Your Gender Glasses On: The Gender Equality Festival Is About to Start! Sibiu, 14-16 October


Put on your gender glasses: the Gender Equality Festival begins on October 14th!

The Gender Equality Festival challenges you see the world through the pink and blue glasses. What if both women, and men tried to look at theafis Festivalul Egalitatii de Gen - web-01 world from the other gender’s perspective? Through theatre plays, film projections, workshops and competitions, the festival encourages young people to defy preconceptions about what is feminine and what is masculine, and learn to get involved in the prevention of gender discrimination and violence. A.L.E.G. has been organizing this event for over 10 years, allowing teenagers to come up with and implement activities targeting other youngsters. The project taking the form of a festival aims at offering teenagers access to education targeted at preventing couple violence and at promoting healthy relationships in which power is divided between the two.

What if school prepared us for healthy relationships, assertive communication, recognising and reporting abuse? Those who are interested to find out are invited to the Conference Equality and Prevention of Gender-based Violence in Education”. The conference brings together high school teachers and pupils who have tested the educational material proposed by A.L.E.G. in the school year 2016/2017 within the project “Gender Equality Awareness Raising against Intimate Partner Violence II”, funded through the Daphne programme of the European Union. Fifty-five teachers and school counsellors in 6 counties including Sibiu were trained to teach the module, and 274 pupils participated at the 13 hours of interactive activities. Of these participants, 12 came from the “Gulliver” Complex of Sibiu, as youngsters in the child protection system are vulnerable to repeated violence. The conference will present the results to the authorities, with a purpose to including the module in the mass education system. The Romanian educational package can be downloaded at www.gear-ipv.eu.

The pupils who took part to the classes on healthy relationships transposed what they learnt into video materials, which were juried within the competition Unlearning Violence” (to see the videos, click here). During the conference, we will award the prizes and project the winning video.

In parallel to the conference, in the centre of Sibiu, volunteers-letters will encourage passers-by to “write” street messages about healthy relationships, during the activity “Choose your words!”.

On Saturday, October 15th, starting at 6 p.m., at Librăria Habitus, you can get involved in changing the ending of a theatre play. Forum theatre is a type of educational theatre invented by Augusto Boal with the purpose of promoting societal changes. This year’s performance reveals the pressure which high school pupils face in their relationships, trying to find answers to why we accept violence and what we can change. Based on a script made up by young people, you will have the chance to find possible answers. Spectators can become actors!

In the same place, at 6 p.m., you are invited to the film Stockholm (Spain, 2013) about two young people who get from flirt to the harsh reality of fighting for control, psychological games and conflicts between sexes. Provided by Transilvania Film, Stockholm, is an opportunity to observe and discuss relationships between young people. Event for people over 15.

The Festival comes to an end on Sunday, with the contest Gender Treasure Hunt” taking part in the Big Square. To win the prizes, the teams in the contest will have to go through some litmus tests which will shatter their prejudices about girls and boys, test their skills and raise the challenge of reversing roles: masculine vs. feminine. The registration form can be accessed from here

All the events are free of charge.

The 11th edition of the Gender Equality Festival is co-funded by Sibiu Local County and the Sibiu City Hall through the Community Agenda; the competition Unlearning Violenceis funded by the Sibiu Community Foundation with funds raised through the 2016 Sibiu Semi marathon.

www.aleg-romania.eu               www.facebook.com/festivalulegalitatiidegen

Open letter for urgent implementation of the strategic initiatives assumed by the Government to prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence


Letter to Romanian government

To the attention of:

Prime Minister Dacian Cioloș,

Minister of Labor Dragoș Pîslaru,

Minister of Justice Raluca Prună,

Minister of Internal Affairs Petre Tobă,

Minister of Public Finances Anca Daragiu,

Minister of Health Vlad Voiculescu,

Minister of Education Adrian Curaj,

The Network for Preventing and Combating Violence against Women, the Coalition for Gender Equality and the Network Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence are hereby making a public call for the urgent adoption of strategic initiatives on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, in the context of harmonizing national legislation with the provisions of the Istanbul Convention (Convention of Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence), ratified by Romania this year.

We demand urgent implementation of the strategic initiatives undertaken by the Government in January this year!

Violence against women is a violation of human rights and the result of unequal power relations between women and men. In its most serious forms, violence against women is a violation of the right to life. In the last decade, European countries have given priority to efforts aimed at reducing all forms of violence against women.

We believe that in Romania the government, central and local public institutions and civil society must intensify efforts to prevent and combat domestic violence and sexual violence and to give due consideration to all other forms of violence against women.

We believe that the state must act so as to ensure the effective protection of victims, improve their access to justice and access to appropriate services, ensuring all their rights.

Furthermore, we believe that it is vital that these efforts be supported by allocating adequate financial resources from the public budget, as violence against women is a matter of public interest.

We believe that legal actions toward the perpetrators and their application procedures are insufficient and convey the message that state institutions and their representatives tolerate violence against women. The state cannot invoke the right to property or the right to privacy when, in their private life, aggressors commit acts which endanger the physical or mental integrity of a person.

We consider necessary to develop inclusive public policies involving a multi-sectoral approach and ensure that the rights of all women are properly observed. We can state that public policies regarding domestic violence are still symbolically adopted in Romania and provide no real safety for women. However, violence affects women differently, according to the vulnerabilities they experience, often simultaneously, relating to their ethnicity, economic status, disability, sexual orientation, age or religious beliefs.

We highly appreciate the introduction of the initiatives for Amending the legislation on child protection and domestic violence into the strategic sectorial objectives of the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Protection and the Elderly, which represents a result of a process of consultation and collaboration between the National Agency for Equal Opportunities and NGOs active in preventing and combating violence against women.

These strategic initiatives undertaken by the Government are:
- Implementation of the Convention of Council of Europe on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Deadline: April 2016)
- Development of the legal framework for regulating the interdiction / emergency protection order which will grant police officers extension of privileges and grant them the necessary authority to issue such an order (Deadline: April 2016)
- Regulation of a system for monitoring compliance with protection orders and implementation of an electronic monitoring system through electronic bracelets (Deadline: May 2016)
- Supervision of the establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centers, which would also ensure medical examination, forensic assistance and post traumatic counseling for victims (Deadline: September 2016)
- Drafting a Decision approving the Programs of National Interest, including a program that aims to create specialized services for aggressors advising and ensuring treatment for the different types of addiction, in order to facilitate their rehabilitation and reintegration (Deadline: September 2016)

We note that for the first three strategic initiatives cited above the deadline for completion set by the Government has been exceeded.

Once again, we strongly emphasize and bring to public attention the need for immediate implementation of these measures, given that:
- 1 in 4 women in Romania has been physically or sexually assaulted by their partner and 75% of these cases remain unreported (EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 2014).
- 1 in 3 women has been subject to a form of violence at least once in their lifetime (EU Fundamental Rights Agency, 2014)
- Since 2012, 91% of requests for protection orders have been made by women.
- In 2014 there were 1,459 defendants prosecuted in cases of domestic violence, which represents 2.9% of all those indicted
- In 2014 there were 155 victims of homicide in situations of domestic violence, 32.5% more than the 2004-2012 average (according to reports by the General Inspectorate of Romanian Police and by the Public Ministry)
- Since the commencement of Law 25/2012 amending Law 217/2003 on preventing and combating domestic violence until April 2015 7,312 protection orders have been requested and 3,045 applications have been accepted
- 7 to 14 days go by between the moment when police officers identify domestic assault, following a 112 call, and the registration of the protection order requests
- In 2014 and the first 6 months of 2015 there were 50,507 calls to 112 to report cases of domestic violence (family violence)

Considering all of the above, we demand with great urgency the following:
- Implementation of strategic initiatives cited on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, first and foremost:
• Developing the legal framework for regulating the interdiction/ emergency protection order, which will grant police officers extension of privileges and the necessary authority to issue such an order (Deadline: April 2016)
• Regulating a system for monitoring compliance with protection orders and implementing an electronic monitoring system through electronic bracelets (Deadline: May 2016)
• Supervising the establishment of Sexual Assault Referral Centers, which would ensure medical examination, forensic assistance and post traumatic counseling for victims (Deadline: September 2016)

- Systematic consultation of the three signatory Networks by representatives of ministries responsible for finalizing the strategic initiatives and monitoring their implementation.

- Completion of the Government Decision on the National Interest Programs (PIN) with areas which include equality between men and women, gender equality and domestic violence.

We assure you of our full support, given the expertise of all the NGOs members of the networks in preventing and combating violence against women.

The signatories of this open letter are:

Network for Preventing and Combating Violence against Women www.violentaimpotrivafemeilor.ro

Network Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence, www.violentadegen.ro

Coalition for Gender Equality, www.ongen.ro

Members of the Network for Preventing and Combating Violence against Women, Coalition for Gender Equality and the Network Breaking the Silence on Sexual Violence are:
Asociaţia TRANSCENA, Bucureşti
Asociaţia Femeilor Împotriva Violenţei ARTEMIS, Cluj-Napoca
Fundaţia SENSIBLU, București
Asociaţia GRADO – Grupul Român pentru Apărarea Drepturilor Omului, Bucureşti
Fundaţia Centrul Parteneriat pentru Egalitate, Bucureşti
Asociatia pentru Libertate şi Egalitate de Gen, A.L.EG., Sibiu
Asociaţia Centrul de Dezvoltare Curriculară şi Studii de Gen: FILIA, Bucureşti
Asociaţia FRONT, Bucureşti
Asociaţia ANAIS, Bucuresti
E-ROMNJA – Asociatia pentru Promovarea Drepturilor Femeilor Rome, Bucuresti
Institutul Est European pentru Sănătatea Reproducerii – IEESR, Tg Mureş
Fundaţia Centrul de Mediere şi Securitate Comunitară – CMSC, Iasi
PAS ALTERNATIV, Braşov
Asociaţia pentru Promovarea Femeilor din România, Timişoara
Societatea Doamnelor Bucovinene, Suceava
Asociația ATENA DELPHI, Cluj-Napoca
Asociaţia „Victorie Împotriva Violenţei, Abuzului şi Discriminării – V.I.V.A.D.“ Cluj-Napoca
Asociația SEVA – Șanse egale – Valoare – Autoritate, Suceava
Asociația SPICC – Solidaritate, Participare, Incluziune, Comunicare, Cooperare, Timișoara
Asociatia Quantic, București
Asociația All for Family, Constanța
Asociația Femeilor Universitare, București
Asociația VIS, Constanța
Psihosfera, Brașov
Equality and Human Rights Action Centre – ACTEDO
Romanian Women’s Lobby
Societatea de Analize Feministe – AnA
Asociația PLURAL
Asociația EMA
Centrul de Studii în Idei Politice (CeSIP)

This open letter is supported by:
WAVE – Step Up Campaign
Asociația Romano ButiQ

APADOR-CH

Asociația MozaiQ
Asociația ACCEPT
Ce-Re: Centrul de Resurse pentru Participare Publică

Asociația TRANSform

Asociația Active Watch