As violence against women remains a universal issue, the head of the European Union (EU) Delegation in Turkey, Christian Berger, has stated on Thursday that domestic violence is a serious issue that the EU also faces.
The minister of Social and Family Policies, Fatma Betül Sayan-Kaya, has provided the numbers for public servants who received educational training to combat domestic violence while speaking at the closing ceremony of the Turkey-EU funded "Combating Domestic Violence Project."
Minister Sayan-Kaya explained, "71,000 police officers, 65,000 health workers, 47,600 religious clerics, 34,000 Turkish Armed Forces personnel along with 464,000 law enforcement officials received educational seminars [on combating domestic violence]."
Beginning her remarks by condemning the recent terror attack in the southern Turkish province of Adana, Minister Sayan-Kaya stressed that violence against women is a violation of human rights, further noting that it is a worldwide phenomenon, though experienced in varying severity.
Underlining that, in the last four years, the government has achieved notable efforts in the combat against domestic violence, Sayan-Kaya said, "As our president also stated, violence is a crime against humanity. It is unacceptable no matter where it originates."
She had also added that the Ministry of Family and Social policies are following a "zero-tolerance against violence" policy, and added that as part of the project "grant support has been established for 19 non-governmental organizations located in 11 provinces for their projects combating domestic violence."
Sayan-Kaya had also stated that the ministry had established a commission covering 81 provinces across Turkey titled the "Provincial Coordination of Monitoring and Assessment Commission for Combating Domestic Violence against Women."
Adding on to Minister Sayan-Kaya's remarks, the head of the EU delegation in Turkey, Berger said, "This project is certainly one of the key projects that we have supported over the past year. It reaffirms our joint commitment of fighting violence against women and girls. It is a problem that also plagues the EU where 1 out of 3 women and girls are experiencing violence. We have witnessed the problem of underage marriages and births around the world."
He further noted that the issue is also widespread around conflict zones and added, "We need to provide preventive and protective assistance in health, judiciary systems and social services."
The project, which began on Dec. 27, 2013, is to be finalized on Dec. 27, 2016 and is being funded by the EU and the Turkish government. While aiming to increase the sheltering services' quality and quantity, the project has also provided support, protection and shelter for women facing domestic violence throughout 26 provinces in Turkey.
The government, as part of the "Measures to be Taken to Prevent Acts of Violence against Women and Children and Custom and Honor Killings," has prepared a "National Action Plan on Combating Violence against Women 2016-2020." In that respect, the Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers (ŞÖNİM) were established through 49 provinces of Turkey to provide consultancy, guidance and counseling services, while offering strengthening and supportive services as well as monitoring services on a 24/7 basis.
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