PH International

Domestic Violence Community Partnership Program - Ukraine

Country: Ukraine
Category: Community Development Programs


Web Site:

The dynamics of domestic violence in eastern Europe are essentially the same as in the United States. What does differ dramatically between these two cases however is the social awareness of the problem and the tools available to prevent and defend against acts of domestic violence. At the turn of the millenium, this problem in the former Soviet Union was aggravated by inherited cultural traditions, social structures and norms of behavior which have historically tolerated domestic violence. In 1998, Project Harmony received a grant from the United States State Department to administer "The Domestic Violence Community Partnership Program." This innovative two-year program brought together coalitions of domestic violence prevention and response experts from the United States, Russia, and Ukraine - later expanding to Georgia -  to share strategies and develop community-based tools for increasing awareness of this problem, and protecting women in culturally relevant and law enforcement-supported ways. Participants learned about collaborative models in the U.S. establishing domestic violence community partnerships that were producing measurable and positive results. Working linkages between police, victim advocate groups, prosecutors, judges, health care professionals, family counselors and schools are producing an effective coalition of community based services to attack the systemic issues of domestic violence.

The program initially focused on Petrozavodsk and Volgograd in Russia, and in Odesa and Lviv in Ukraine. Based on the success of the first two-year initiative, Project Harmony received another grant in 1999 to continue the program for an additional two years and to extend the locations to include the cities of Irkutsk in the Far East of Russia, Uzhgorod in Ukraine, and Tbilisi in Georgia.