Mongolia | Gender, Governance

Support for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Mongolia is keen on eradicating domestic violence against women and children. The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction contributed $3 million to an ADB project that aims to help survivors break free from this vicious cycle.

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Heads Up High. Psychological, legal, and medical support services will become more available for women and young girls who are survivors of domestic violence in Mongolia.

Project

Mongolia: Combating Domestic Violence Against Women and Children

Project Cost

$3 million

  • Financing Partner
    • Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction $3 million

Approval Date

October 2018

Completion

December 2022

Expected Partnership Results

Model shelters for women and children survivors of domestic and sexual violence established in three provinces and two districts, at least two to be physically accessible to persons with disabilities
Capacity building of key officials and staff responsible for protection and rehabilitation services for domestic violence survivors
Expansion of existing helpline center, which receives distress calls, provides psychological and legal counseling, and refers calls to the police

Background

Despite advances in gender equality in Asia and the Pacific region, gender-based violence in its many forms still threaten many women’s lives. These include rape, domestic violence, sexual harassment and exploitation, reproductive coercion, and many more.

Of the many forms of gender-based violence, domestic violence is a particular cause for concern in Mongolia. According to a national study, among ever-partnered women, 57.9% have experienced physical, sexual, emotional, and economic violence. Of the reported incidents, 91% of domestic violence survivors were women.

Women aged between 25 and 49 experienced the highest rates of domestic violence, resulting in loss of workdays and income in addition to physical and psychological damage. Of the incidences reported, 58% occurred in Ulaanbaatar, while 42% occurred in rural areas. As bad as they look, these numbers do not even convey the full gravity of the situation as many incidents go unreported. Social norms and threats to victims’ lives, along with poor institutional mechanisms to tackle domestic violence, discourage individuals from speaking out. In reported cases, victims have limited options in terms of social, legal, and medical support services. This is further complicated by a lack of understanding among the public and unpreparedness of multi-disciplinary government officials to prevent and respond effectively to cases of domestic violence. Shelters or safe havens for victims also have limited capacity and inadequate facilities.

The revised Law on Combating Domestic Violence has been in effect since 1 February 2017, but awareness and communication campaigns are sorely lacking. Many victims and survivors, their friends and families, do not know where and how to file complaints and request assistance.

The Japan Fund for Poverty Reduction provided a $3 million grant to advance gender equality in Mongolia by improving the quality of, and access to, prevention and response to domestic violence. The project, approved in late 2018 but became effective in 2019, is ADB’s first stand-alone project addressing domestic violence. It will increase government capacity and strengthen institutions to address reported cases of gender-based violence, particularly domestic violence. It will also help enhance community knowledge and understanding of gender-based violence and their consequences toward changing individual and community behavior.

Interventions

By addressing domestic violence, the project is expected to support Mongolia’s efforts in achieving gender equality and empowerment of women. The project has started working on the following:

Multi-disciplinary response and livelihood assistance services to domestic violence survivors. Model shelters for women and children survivors of domestic and sexual violence will be established in three provinces and two districts, each with the capacity to serve between 100 and 120 women and children per year, offering up to 30 days of protection and other multidisciplinary services to survivors. Two shelters will be physically accessible to persons with disabilities. The project will also include a pilot women’s economic empowerment program for survivor women, which will include psychosocial counseling, training on financial and legal literacy, and livelihoods and income generation activities for disadvantaged groups.

Capacity building of key officials and staff responsible for protection and rehabilitation services for domestic violence survivors. Training programs on prevention, coordinated response, protection and rehabilitation will be tailored and targeted at different stakeholders, including staff of helpline centers, police officers, and various legal and medical professionals handling domestic violence cases.

Behavior improvement of key stakeholders on prevention, reporting and protection of survivors. The project will expand the existing helpline center, which receives distress calls, provides psychological and legal counseling, and refers calls to the police. Targeted and focused behavior change campaign will be launched, covering identification and prevention of domestic violence, reporting cases, and supporting and protecting women. Community groups will be mobilized to reinforce the communication campaign and provide support mechanisms. A nationwide small-scale grants program will support the community-based initiatives for the effective prevention and response to domestic violence.

Expected Results

To date, the design of the shelters are under preparation. A Gender Action Plan to support the project has been completed and is now under implementation, and a stakeholder communication strategy has been prepared. The small-scale grants program is underway nationwide to support the community-based initiatives for the effective prevention and response to domestic violence.

Mongolia stands to make a critical contribution to accelerating progress in gender equality through this project. Once all interventions are in place the project is expected to ensure safety of women and improve the quality of life for women and children, resulting in indirect contribution to the improved socio-economic development of communities.

About 2,132 persons, including 600 women survivor and 130 persons with disabilities, will directly benefit from the shelters, economic empowerment program, capacity building and behavior change communication activities. Thousands will indirectly benefit from the project, including women who will have increased awareness and access to institutions and services for combatting domestic violence.

Related Story

Turning Mongolia Orange: Behavior Change Communication Against Domestic Violence By Pinky Serafica and Tsolmon Begzsuren (ADB Blog)