Understanding Culture
Protecting Human Rights
A. Obaid

UNFPA Executive Director
Gender Equity Human Rights

Sierra Leone

Laying the groundwork

Starting off right
Bulding in sustainability
Caring for the individual
The "Whole" person
Safety nets
Service providers
Gaining support through advocacy
The Projects

Prevent survivors from ''falling through the cracks''
The creation of a social safety netthat is, a network of partner organizations that understand the problem of violence and can reach out to women in needis critical in addressing the issue. Typically, the police, child protection agencies, emergency and medical personnel, school psychologists and forensic institutes are on the front lines in helping identify and refer cases. In Mures district in Romania, project personnel forged partnerships with and trained staff from 16 local institutions, which were fundamental to the success of the project. In establishing such partnerships, the NGO managing the project consistently took a proactive stance. It made initial contacts with potential allies, followed up with them and maintained the communication process through regular meetings and monthly progress reports. To ensure that agreements would be honoured, the NGO initiated the practice of writing up detailed partnership protocols for each of the 16 institutions with which it formed a relationship, outlining specific roles and responsibilities. Paradoxically, the neighbourhood police, who were previouslyregardedwithdistrustbythecommunity,have become the Mures Crisis Centres most important allies. In a recent year, 20 per cent of the centres clients were referred by the neighbourhood police. Local law enforcement officers are also playing an important role in prevention, by checking in on the homes of former victims.

falling through the cracks''" aforism="''The key to our success is networking with other institutions. On our own we can do nothing.

Head psychologist at the Mures Crisis Centre, Romania


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