This launching event began with a focus on the promotional banners of the campaign, 2016. The next moment the lights went off and a victim of violence appeared on the scene, sitting in a chair, with her back turned away from us. She started to tell her story with a faint voice initially… sometimes she had to stop as her horrible memories of being beaten, malnourished, made to feel worthless, and losing her baby as a consequence of this violence, was still haunting her. It seemed as there were no real words to express the deep pain she had to endure. But her voice become instantly more powerful as she said “Do not stay in Violence, ask for help!’’. She gave this message and a call to her fellow sisters, who might be suffering as she did.
Znj. Eni Vasili – Representing media
A prestigious journalist in Albania has recently published a book named “I have killed”. This book is composed of stories of women who have been abused and these circumstances have directed them to kill their perpetrator. “Killing someone, we killed ourselves” – they say.
– The media should not blame and shame these women by just focusing on their horrendous act, and not including their whole story. The state also should take into consideration, when condemning these women, why their committed these crimes, and in the end, the whole society is responsible for each of these women who were victims of violence and became violent, to protect themselves, not recognizing the signs and ignoring the facts. – said Ms.Vasili
Ms. Limya Eltayeb, CEO of UNDP in Albania
The principal aim of MDGs is to leave no one behind – said Ms. Eltayeb as a closure to her story about a Sudanese woman who was abused constantly. She continued – Violence does not affect the women alone but all the members of the family. We all have to recognize that violence is very near to us and we have to acknowledge that.
A national online system to track domestic violence cases was launched in Albania by UNDP. The system is secure and respects survivors’ confidentiality. It is used by a limited number of local and central government employees appropriately trained on domestic violence response, confidentiality of survivors and use of the system. With this innovative system, both the local Mechanisms of Coordination and Referral and the central government are able to detect any bottlenecks in the authorities’ response to cases. Eventually, they may intervene through policies, tailor-measured, monitoring and accountability, to address this issue and ultimately improve how the cases are handled and the quality of services to survivors ensured.
The data and statistics show a rise in abuse. The 61 municipalities have to work at their best potential to reduce this phenomenon. – said Ms. Eltayeb. – We all need to work on the economic empowerment, education system, awareness in the society, making institutions accountable and raising our youth to not tolerate violence. We all need to work together to break the fear, stigma and shame’’.
Ms.Iris Luarasi – representing Civil Society
“One in three women in the world is violated. Violence does not happen only in the rural areas, or only in poor families and people with little education. Violence happens in the middle of the capital, in the highest ranks of our society and most of the time it is silent.” – Ms. Luarasi opened her speech. She continued telling the story of her friend who was a women’s rights activist and was killed by her violent husband. – “Violence is very near to us, and everyone has a role in this matter. Media till know has done more harm in making this issue worse by stigmatizing the women.” She continued to emphasize the importance of awareness and social inclusion. The programme for the rehabilitation of abusive men has failed as the court has sent to this programme, only two men in three years. The following approach #Become a man! clubs is involving men and boys to become activists against gender based violence. In the end of her speech Ms. Luarasi concluded “is the job of the state to protect the victims, address the violence and penalize the abusers”.
MR. Blendi Klosi, Minister of Social Welfare and Youth
The Minister presented the government’s strategy against violence against women. Mr.Klosi said that the aim of this strategy is that the mechanism of protection toward any form of violence becomes a natural choice for the victims. – “from January 1st till 30th of September 2016 we had 3195 denounced cases of domestic violence. In 2015 there were 2800. I do not believe that the violence is raised, but the awareness has been raised. According to the official data during January – September there were 3100 cases of domestic violence treated.” – “The launching of the campaign today bears the slogan” I choose to live without violence”. “Every woman, mother or daughter chooses to live without violence, which will be a message for creating a healthier and fairer society, “said Klosi.
In his speech, the Minister of Social Welfare appealed for more denunciation of violence against women and children. This event closed with the signing of the agreement of the national helpline 116 117 from Minister Klosi and the CEO of this National helpline for women and girls Ms. Luarasi.