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Skopje, 18 July 2022 – The campaign “There is help for life without violence”, which will promote the services that will be made available to women and girls victims of domestic and gender-based violence, was launched on 18 July by meeting the residents of the Šuto Orizari municipality, the first in a series of events that will be held in the local community over the next period.

This campaign is conducted as part of the project “Prevention and Protection against Gender-based Violence in North Macedonia” which is implemented by the United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA, in cooperation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and financially supported by the British Embassy in Skopje.

The Šuto Orizari event gathered the representatives from the local community institutions – the Social Work Centre, the Ministry of Interior, and the non-governmental sector, who presented the services, shared the experiences and encouraged those attending to report the domestic violence.

“As a social worker, I have noticed that there existed invisible walls that need to be pulled down so as to get out of the darkness of the domestic violence. For starters, we can destroy those walls by conversation – with our sisters, friends, neighbours”, said in her address Jasmina Zeḱir, a social worker from the Šuto Orizari Social Work Centre.

Risto Joanovski spoke next, the chief inspector in the Internal Affairs Sector of the local police station, who pointed “Should you witness violence or experience violence yourself, the police are there for you. Report it, and we will act on it.”

In addition to events organised in the local community, the campaign will also include promotion of video materials on the social media as well as on the national TV media, cooperation with prominent figures in the community, organisation of meetings with religious leaders and other communication activities.

The aim of the Project is to support the Government and corresponding institutions in developing and implementing an integrated policy against gender-based violence in compliance with the Istanbul Convention principles.