Women’s Support Center Launches Holiday Crowdfunding Campaign

YEREVAN—The Women’s Support Center (WSC) NGO in Yerevan has launched its holiday crowdfunding campaign to gain support from the public and Armenian Diaspora in assisting women and children who are victims of domestic violence.

Women and children enjoying a meal at the WSC shelter (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)

The WSC is one of only two organizations that offer shelter to victims fleeing abuse, and the only one that offers comprehensive services, including case management, socio-psychological and legal counseling, educational programs, walk-in and hotline services, and an economic empowerment program to help survivors jump-start their careers. For WSC beneficiaries, those services give them the opportunity to reintegrate into society and live free of abuse.

The WSC and its partner organizations work to change myths and taboos regarding domestic violence through public campaigns and media engagement. Those efforts are necessary because domestic violence is often viewed as a normal occurrence within families, and any attempt to disrupt the privacy of the family is frequently regarded as an attempt to undermine the traditional Armenian family.

Children’s playroom at the WSC shelter (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)

The situation in Armenia is grave: It’s estimated that at least 1 in 4 women in Armenia have been abused in their lifetime. As Armenia is set to adopt a law on domestic violence before the end of the year, the hope is that victims will begin to be better protected, perpetrators punished, and service providers involved with victims of domestic violence properly trained.

As of now, the WSC has no governmental funding, and its shelter runs completely on individual donations. With a new law in place and reduced stigma around domestic violence, more and more women can be expected to reach out for support this year. The WSC asks for continued support from the Armenian Diaspora to help create a safe Armenia for women and children. All proceeds raised will go directly toward rent, utilities, food, hygienic products, and medical care for the women and children who are fleeing life-threatening situations.

A child watching cartoons at the WSC shelter (Photo: Nazik Armenakyan)

To donate to the shelter and learn more about the WSC, visit https://goto.gg/25926.

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Guest Contributor

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1 Comment

  1. Domestic Violence must be eradicated from the Armenian society in Armenia! I took a Mission Trip to Armenia on April 28-May 9, 2017 to asses the D/V horrid stories I was reading about. Sadly to say that the situation was lot worse than I thought. I worked with Maro Matossian, the Exec. Director of WSC & group of her volunteers. I have had about 30 years of experience here in US dealing with cases of abuse. After I got back to US, I formed an Advocacy Group called American Armenians Against Domestic Abuse = with the acronym AAAaDa. I have gathered intelligent and educated men and women who belong to this group. Then in order to make a big impact, I sent a report what I found out in Armenia re. D/V and a letter of major appeal to all Armenian American major organizations that help Armenia very often with great monetary support to APPEAL TO THE Armenian PARLIAMENT FOR PASAGE OF LAWS VS. D/V. I even have had telephone conferences with several of the Exec. Directors of these organizations with positive help to do so. I especially wnt to point out that Mr. Aram Hamparian told me on the phone that he would personally speak to the Parliament members regarding this. That was music to my ears! And I thanked him profusely – – and Lo, and behold soon after that, before the year end of 2017, I read that Law was passed vs. Domestic Violence perpetrators in Armenia. Thanks be to God? That is the First Step, and it must be implemented right away and pursued faithfully to bring law and order in our homeland. This is a Human Rights Issue! And it must be revered and followed faithfully! All those organizations that I got in touch with in Sept-Oct. of 2017, must all recognize this law and vocally support this law once and for all. SILENCE means CONSENT! And that is not acceptable in decent society. Also, there is the need of educating the public, young and old of gender equality. And our innocent young children should not be conditioned to be future abusers. Both male and female are important in their own rights without any malice and unfairness. A strong father who provides for the family, and respects his wife is a mirror for the children to learn that. And a mother who loves, and sacrifices for her children on a daily basis needs the love and care of her husband. This becomes the mirror of the children to learn decency and love of family equally with all members. We, Armenians were the First Nation to be declared Christians in 301 A. D.; thus, the picture of Domestic Violence does not fit in our Armenian Society today. Let’s forget old ways of very old times- we now are in 21st century! Decency must prevail for our future generations. Let us not curtail our youth’s intelligence and capabilities to do their thing in life and to succeed. And let us not forget, GOD IS LOVE, the BIBLE tells us so! I am so proud of my Diosporan Advocacy Group to have made a difference!

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