First Czech support center for Ukrainian survivors of war and sexual violence opens in Prague

This is also the first project of its kind outside of Ukraine, and will provide a combination of psychological and legal help. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 31.05.2023 10:13:00 (updated on 31.05.2023) Reading time: 1 minute

Prague will establish a help center for Ukrainian survivors of war and sexual violence, which will be the first facility of its kind outside Ukraine. According to government human rights commissioner Klára Šimáčková Laurenčíková, it will open “within months.”

Workers at the center will provide psychological and legal assistance in the Ukrainian language. There are 11 such sites currently in Ukraine, and the Czech and Ukrainian governments are cooperating in order to set up the center. 

The facility will also serve as a place for collecting evidence in the investigation of crimes against humanity. The Czech government recently announced its support for EU-level plans to establish a war crimes tribunal that investigates Russian violence.

The Bright Sky mobile app, a platform that provides advice on how to respond to and recognize signs of domestic assault, will also become available in the Ukrainian language within weeks; a beta version will be launched soon for users in Czechia.

"I would like to express my gratitude for the systematic assistance to our refugees who are staying here on the territory of the Czech Republic and receiving all kinds of help from civil organizations and the government. We will do our utmost to open it as soon as possible"

Ukrainian Gender Equality Commissioner Kateryna Levchenko

Around 325,000 Ukrainian refugees currently reside in Czechia, 80 percent of whom are women who may be scarred by war or sexual violence and are constrained by a language barrier and potential poor communication from Czech authorities.

A report from October 2022 found that “almost half” of all refugees suffer from depression and anxiety. also reported last year that hundreds of Ukrainian women went into prostitution in Czechia, facing the risk of being controlled by pimps and sex-trafficking gangs.

Looking to the future, Šimáčková Laurenčíková stressed the importance of establishing cooperation with other Czech or foreign partner organizations with experience in helping victims of child abuse and sexual violence, as the Czech Republic lacks experience with this target group.

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