National awareness-raising campaign ' I Am Against Violence', sponsored by the Ministry for Family, Youth and Sport and the EU program ' Women and Children Rights in Ukraine', has been held in Ukraine for two months now. In the course of the project Mainstream specialists made a poll among famous musicians, athletes, and politicians and learnt what they think about domestic violence.
' All interviewees supported the campaign unanimously and even expressed a desire to participate in events aimed at attraction of public attention to this problem,' says Marina Yermakova, the project manager from Mainstream. We decided to secure the backing of Ukrainian celebrities at the preparatory stage of the project, but we did not expect that their participation would be so active throughout the campaign. We are also pleased with media support, both national and regional. Comprehensive coverage helped not to leave the problem of abusive attitude to women and children 'behind the closed doors'. Therefore, we hope that the situation in our society will change for the better from now on. And those who suffer abusive treatment will make a step towards changes.
This is what the campaign participants think of domestic violence:
Singer Lilu: ' I would like to emphasize the fact that Slavic women are very tolerant and patient as a rule. We all heard a saying: If he loves her, he beats her. It’ s not true! One can show love in other ways. This vicious circle, which is passed on from one generation to another, must be broken at last. It seems to me that all problems of women come from ignorance. Because they don’ t know that they are not alone,' says the singer. Lilu urges people not to stand aside, but join the campaign: ' Listen and hear! You must act and not be afraid. Today you are not alone!'
Singer Ekateryna Buzhynska: ' In my opinion, the rapid growth in domestic violence rate is a consequence of decrease in people' s spirituality. Because of the difficult economical conditions in Ukraine most citizens make their living by hard physical work, and whatever they make is enough only to survive and starve to death. I believe that such situation promotes malice and aggression of people towards their relatives. First, it is necessary to improve well-being of the population, which will immediately entail increase in level of inner culture and spirituality. Active social position of those who are not indifferent to this problem will also contribute to overcoming the violence. Moreover, parents must set an example of nonviolence to their children, when there is love and respect for each other in the family and all conflicts are resolved amicably.'
Singer Dilya from the band ' NeDilya': ' The problem of domestic violence is much deeper and more serious than it seems to be. One should prevent the fire rather than extinguish it. We have a problem with our society. It all begins from the moment of birth. Love for the country, respect for parents and relatives are cultivated in children from the cradle'. The singer believes that the following steps will help to solve the problem: ' I am convinced that it is necessary to bring up the issue of violence, we need social programs. We must do everything possible to teach children to respect their parents and be proud to be called Ukrainians.'
Oleksiy Rudenko, director of the ' S. K. A. Y'. band: ' I think that we should support those who become victims of violence and simultaneously deal with the problem of the violence source in our society. It is necessary to change the situation radically, and we can do it by starting with proper upbringing. Society creates tyrants, and we must realize it and undertake responsibility for it, bringing up the new generation ' without violence'!'
Denys Sylantyev, four-time holder of the Swimming World Cup: ' The statistics is shocking. Therefore, I support this campaign by personal example and with my authority. I am ready to stand for family’ s principles! I believe that only weak people stoop to physical violence against women or children. Weak physically and morally.'
Singer Maryna Odolska: ' I believe we need preventive measures to obviate the problem. I mean, to begin cultivating it in children already at school at lessons of ethics or by means of compulsory lectures on the issue. We also need anonymous consultations of psychologist for children who suffered from domestic violence. After all, parents’ behavior sets a pattern of how their children will treat their future families. As to battered women, we need public or charitable private consulting and support centers, where victims could get psychological, legal or other help.'