Two more One Stop Service Centres (OSSCs) on June 21 were officially launched in Ho Chi Minh City and Da Nang City to provide integrated and essential services supporting survivors of gender-based and domestic violence.
With financial contribution from the Government of Japan, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Vietnam contracted the Centre for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender – Family – Women and Adolescents (CSAGA) to establish the OSSCs called “Anh Duong (Sunshine) House”, to detect and prevent violence and support survivors via the hotline 02433335599 operating 24 hours a day.
The OSSC model provides essential, comprehensive and integrated services to women and girls who are experiencing or are at risk of gender-based and domestic violence.
It provides a wide range of services, meeting international standards, including health care, psychological support, counselling, social welfare services, emergency shelters, police protection, legal and justice services and referrals.
All services are based on the survivor-centred principle, in which survivors are treated with respect and dignity, and assured of privacy and confidentiality.
The findings of the UNFPA-supported National Study on Violence against Women in Vietnam in 2019 showed nearly 2 in 3 women (62.9%) experienced at least one form of physical, sexual, psychological and economic violence and controlling behaviours by their husband in their lifetime.
And half of the women who experienced physical and or sexual violence by a husband or partner have told no one about it, and most of the women (90.4%) experiencing violence did not seek any help.
Therefore, violence against women is very much hidden in Vietnamese society.
Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative for Vietnam, said UNFPA and CSAGA want to promote women’s rights and gender equality and support vulnerable groups, particularly survivors of gender-based and domestic violence.
“We want to ensure that all women and girls in Vietnam, including those most vulnerable, have the right to live a life free of violence and with dignity,” she said.
By funding the establishment of three centres in Thanh Hoa, Da Nang and HCM City, the Government of Japan was pleased to have been able to contribute to mitigating the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Vietnam, making sure that everyone is part of the country’s sustainable development process, said Minister Okabe from the Embassy of Japan to Vietnam.
“UNFPA’s decision to collaborate with both the Ministry and a non-governmental organisation is very innovative as it diversifies the way to reach survivors of gender-based violence, providing them with integrated services,” he said.
CSAGA’s director Nguyen Van Anh said CSAGA was experienced in supporting survivors of gender-based violence through the operation of hotlines and shelters for survivors of violence.
“With support from UNFPA, we are ready to provide integrated services to meet the needs of any survivors of violence, especially women and girls. We will work harder to ensure the rights of women and leave no woman behind,” she said.
The first OSSC model was opened in Quang Ninh province in April 2020 by the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MOLISA) with technical and financial support from UNFPA in partnership with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Earlier this year, MOLISA opened one in Thanh Hoa province with support from UNFPA in partnership with the Government of Japan.
The two centres have so far accommodated more than 450 women and children who are survivors of gender-based and domestic violence. Each centre receives more than 1,000 calls a month via the hotlines.
The two new OSSCs in HCM City and Da Nang are an attempt to try out a new model by CSAGA, while the earlier two are based on the social protection centres under MOLISA.
Those who are from other neighbouring provinces and cities can also receive services from the centres.