Women’s Support Center Skopje and House for Open Housing – Services provided in 2021.

The Women’s Support Center – Skopje during 2021 provided a total of 925 services to 125 women and 12 children victims of gender-based and domestic violence.

From all the services provided, 531 were provided by social workers which include: counseling for social rights, referral, accompaniment and advocacy to relevant institutions and other civil society organizations.

280 services were provided by a psychologist / psychotherapist, who were in the form of individual and group counseling.

In terms of legal aid and support, the legal advisor provided 62 services which include legal information, referral to another institution and written submissions. Additionally, there were 14 court representations in the competent courts.

During 2021, the career counseling service was provided, where the career counselor provided 38 services to 11 women users.

Psychological and physical violence was mostly reported, where each of the users stated that they deal with both physical and psychological violence. In 31 users, economic violence was additionally identified, and in 25 users, stalking was also detected. 4 users were victims of marital rape, 1 of sexual violence by a known perpetrator, and 1 of sexual harassment. 3 users reported an assassination attempt by the perpetrator of the violence.

According to demographic data, 115 (92%) users were from urban areas, and the remaining 9 from rural areas. According to the age, most of them were women aged 33 to 47, ie 77 women or 62% of the total number of users. The largest number were Macedonian, ie 101 users or 80%, while the rest were 9 Albanian (7%), 7 Roma (6%), 2 Bosniak, 1 Serb and 1 Turkish.

From the aspect of education, most of them are users with completed secondary education or 62 users (50%), 38 (30%) have bachelor’s degree, 13 with primary education, 7 with higher education and 3 with completed master’s degree.

According to the employment status, 65 of the users or 51% were unemployed, 51 were employed, 5 part-time employees, 2 retired and 1 housewife.

Regarding where the users live, 32 are still livini in housing owned by the perpetrator of violence, 26 in the housing of other family members (parents, brothers, sisters, etc.), 29 live in rented apartments or houses, 3 live with friends and 8 in non-institutional form of housing . Only 10 users or 8% live in their own apartment.

During 2021, the number of users referred by the relevant institutions was very low. Namely, the Centers for Social Work referred only 4 users, 2 were referred by a health institution and only 1 user was referred by the police. 15 users were referred by another CSO, and most (43) were referred by friends, associates or other users. Most of them, or 58 users, asked for help from the Center by themselves, trough the Facebook page of the Women’s Support Center Skopje.

During 2021, The House for Open Housing housed a total of 5 women who survived violence from an intimate partner and who left the violent environment, together with their 8 children. All 5 users received counseling and support for social rights, as well as health insurance, inclusion of children in the education system, or in a preschool institution according to the age of the children. During their stay in the house, they regularly worked with a psychologist / psychotherapist in group meetings, but also individual meetings according to their individual needs. All 5 users received career counseling, and 2 of them were involved in skills development trainings at the SOS Children’s Village Resource Center. 1 user also attended Macedonian language classes, because she comes from another continent and does not know the Macedonian language well. 3 beneficiaries received legal advice and support in divorce proceedings, and 1 beneficiary received support for exercising the right to social housing.

By the end of 2021 all 5 users left the House for open housing, of which we continued to support 2 with housing in individual apartments.

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