Kurdistan Region to increase shelters, other resources for female victims of domestic violence
ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The Kurdistan Region’s Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs announced that it would organize additional shelters for female victims of domestic violence and shift attention to more effectively dealing with women's issues and social problems in general.
The Ministry held a workshop with United Nations agencies and organizations in Erbil to discuss how to organize shelters for battered women, given the rocky history of such facilities in the past.
"These centers are located in Erbil, Sulaimani, Duhok, Halabja, and Garmiyan, and they receive battered women and they are allowed to stay in these centers for 72 hours. If the problem is not fixed, they will house them there until it is fixed," Minister Kwestan Mohammed said in a statement on the sidelines of the workshop, although she did not address the way forward if such a problem could not be "fixed" regarding the perpetrator of the abuse.
Mohammed explained that, so far, "there are about 200 women in these centers because of the threats they were exposed to by their husbands or guardians."
There is also a 119 government phone hotline for victims of domestic violence and other gender-based violence in the Kurdistan Region.
Lockdowns and other effects of the coronavirus pandemic appear to have increased domestic violence against women across the world, including the Kurdistan Region and Iraq, as well as highlighting existing problems.
She indicated that a major aim of the workshop is to set up an administrative mechanism to evaluate the role of such shelters, "and for the United Nations organizations to cooperate with us through guidance and instructions."