According to a study conducted by Amnesty International, nearly 60% of Armenian women experience physical abuse on a regular basis. Only half--29%, to be exact--of these women seek out help, only to return later--at a rate of 88%--to the very homes and families that abused them*. UNICEF has reported that 31% of Armenian males and 22% of Armenian females justify this violence.

The numbers are staggering, and speak volumes. A shift in attitudes around domestic violence in Armenia is long overdue.

The Tufenkian Foundation is partnering with the Women's Support Center in Yerevan to close the gap in the annual budget of a Safe House in Armenia's capital. Because of the potential for pursuit by perpetrators, the safe house's precise location is kept confidential and is not revealed to the pubic. It has the capacity to house and nurture up to 5 women and their children at any given time, with an average yearly impact on 30 women and about 60 children. In addition to providing a safe space where women can seek solace and reprieve from their harrowing experiences, the safe house employs social workers, legal counselors and psychologists who work with the women to slowly build up a sense of independence, potential and eventual self-actualization. Group therapy sessions, individual legal counseling and activities designed specifically for rehabilitation guide the women toward setting goals (for employment, divorce, housing, education, etc) and working toward realizing them. Their children are enrolled in school and monitored by the shelter's staff. By the end of a maximum 60-day stay at the safe house, women are prepared to begin new lives with newfound self-reliance and confidence.

ONEArmenia is a non-profit platform that boosts environmental, humanitarian and cultural projects in Armenia. We use crowd-funding and transparent reporting to connect donors with projects that build positive momentum.

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Shot by Oksana Mirzoyan
Edited by Anahid Yahjian
Produced by Narek Khachatryan and Oksana Mirzoyan
Music by Armen Bazarian

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