SVAW is a national initiative in order to combat violence against women and raise public awareness of the issue. Knowledge is power and our campaign, covering a range of different topics, is intended to provide you with some general guidance on keeping yourself, your family and your loved ones safe and out of harm’s way as much as possible.
According to a Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Romania, in 2012 there were 697 reported cases of rape. 440 persons faced trial for this offense. If certain aggravating circumstances exist, imprisonment may be extended up to 25 years. In many cases however, rapists avoid punishment because victims withdraw their complaint.
Our mission is to raise awareness to the tragic increase in crime and reclaim our neighborhoods. We are educating and arming our community to stay safe. We are distributing free anti-violence materials including window placards, whistles and safety information. It is time to purge the violence and bring safety back to our communities.
The project has multiple concepts and strategies to achieve this mission including:
- -Providing free safety information online and during public outreach events
- -Providing free safety whistles and condoms during public outreach events
- -Providing common sense safety tips on clubbing, tricking, dating and other common activities that sometimes increase our risks
- -Providing a forum for the public to share and exchange information and ideas on safety or on incidents they are aware of through web presence and social media outlets
- -Providing window placards which send a clear message in the neighborhood and also form a network of „safe havens” for victims of crime or violence
- -Encouraging the reporting of ALL crimes and acts of violence to police, and providing support and liaison when needed between victims and law enforcement
Our whistle programme:
Whistles are one of the simplest to use, easiest to carry, least expensive and yet still enormously effective safety devices we promote for everyone. Our whistle program will distribute thousands of free safety whistles. Whistles work by attracting attention when you are in trouble. Whistles work when you call police to report hearing a whistle being blown in a repeated way that signals someone is in trouble.
How to use a whistle:
Whistles can be a lifesaver in the aftermath of an earthquake, as well as if you find yourself in a dangerous criminal or medical situation. Voices don’t carry as far as a whistle sound, so whistles are excellent if you are trapped under rubble following an earthquake. Emergency responders will ask you questions by loudspeaker and you may be able to respond using your whistle if they can’t hear your voice.
Whistles work when EVERYONE has one, when EVERYONE knows how to use their whistle properly, and most importantly, when EVERYONE knows what to do when they hear a whistle being used.
- -CARRY YOUR WHISTLE AT ALL TIMES
- -KEEP IT IN A READILY ACCESSIBLE PLACE SO YOU CAN GET TO IT QUICKLY
- -REPLACE IT WHEN IT GETS BROKEN OR DAMAGED. TEST IT FREQUENTLY.
Our Whistle 1-2-3 program is a simple way to teach others, and remember ourselves, how to use this very effective safety tool.
- -BLOW ONE TIME FOR “YES”
- -BLOW TWO TIMES FOR “NO”
- -BLOW THREE TIMES IN QUICK SUCCESSION, AND CONTINUE TO BLOW FOR AS LONG AS YOU CAN FOR “S.O.S.” OR “EMERGENCY”
If you hear a whistle being blown in an emergency pattern, i.e. three short sharp blasts repeated continuously, follow these simple steps.
- –CALL 112 AND REPORT WHAT YOU HEAR AND WHERE YOU THINK THE WHISTLE SOUND IS COMING FROM
- -IF YOU FEEL IT IS SAFE TO DO SO, TRY TO LOCATE THE WHISTLE BLOWER
- -IF YOU LOCATE THE PERSON NEEDING HELP, OR IF YOU WITNESS A CRIME OR SOMEONE IN TROUBLE, CALL 112 TO REPORT AND USE YOUR WHISTLE TO ATTRACT ADDITIONAL ATTENTION AND ASSISTANCE.
Since 2000, Romania has gone on to pass a number of additional laws that expand upon the provisions and further the objectives contained in the original National Action Plan, as well as generally reinforcing the concept of equality between women and men in Romania.
- In Law No. 48 of 2002 on the Prevention and Sanction of All Forms of Discrimination. Article 1 guarantees equality between citizens in working conditions, recruitment, promotions, access to training, social security, public services, education, and public peace. Gender discrimination is proscribed in employment (Articles 5, 6, 7 and 8), choice of residence (Article 17), access to public services (Article 10), education (Article 15) and public places (Article 18).
- Romania also adopted Law 202/2002, which seeks to eradicate direct and indirect sex discrimination in all areas of public life. Pursuant to Chapter I, Article 4 of Law 202/2002, direct gender discrimination is defined as any detrimental “treatment inflicted by reason of one’s gender, pregnancy, maternity, birth or when a paternity leave is granted;” indirect discrimination occurs where apparently neutral criteria or practices affect people belonging to one gender, except for the situation where the application of these provisions, criteria or practices can be justified by objective factors without gender connection.” Employers are required to inform employees of the sexual harassment prohibition through posters.
- Romania’s first National Action Plan for Employment was adopted in 2003 to assist Romania in the EU accession process. The Plan contains four main pillars:
(a) improving employability
(b) creating new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities
(c) encouraging the adaptability of businesses and employees
(d) improving equal opportunities for women and men.
- -Article 5 of the Labor Code provides for equal treatment and proscribes both direct and indirect discrimination. Direct discrimination is defined as „actions and facts of exclusion, differentiation, restriction, or preference, based on one or several of the criteria stipulated under paragraph (2), the purpose or effect of which is the failure to grant, the restriction or rejection of the recognition, use, or exercise of the rights stipulated in the labour legislation.”
- -Article 154(3) prohibits any discrimination in wages based on several protected grounds, including gender. Romania’s criminal code imposes stronger sanctions, including longer jail sentences, for violent offenses committed against family members than for similar offenses which are committed against non-family members; unfortunately, however, Romania courts have prosecuted relatively few cases of domestic abuse, as many such cases are resolved before or during trial as a result of the victim’s reconciliation with the abuser and/or the victim’s desire not to press charges.
- -Articles 185 and 186 in Romania’s Criminal Code, which concern assault and violence against others, provide for harsher punishment in circumstances where such violence is directed towards a family member. This legislation established the National Agency for Family Protection (“NAFP”) within the Ministry of Labour, Family and Equal Opportunities, provided standards for counseling offices and shelters for victims, and defined domestic violence as “any physical or verbal action deliberately perpetrated by a family member against another member of the same family, resulting in physical, psychological, sexual suffering or material loss.”
- -In March 2012, Romania adopted Law 25/2012, amending Law 217/2003. The new legislation
(a) amended the definition of domestic violence to include verbal, psychological, physical, sexual or spiritual violence
(b) allowed victims to request a court order of protection and a restraining order against the abuser
(c) provided that the victim is entitled to respect to personality, privacy, dignity, special protection, counseling, rehabilitation, reintegration, free medical care, and legal aid.
- Law 25/2012 also provides for some penalties to the abuser, including psychological testing, psychological counseling, detoxification programs and fines. Unfortunately, according to the 2012 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Romania, these service centers were insufficient in number and too unevenly distributed to adequately address the widespread nature of domestic violence within Romania as a whole.
Orașul Meu, Culorie Mele is a Romanian NGO committed to provide support to disadvantaged groups. Through our Creative Program, Orașul Meu, Culorie Mele has renovated orphanages, pediatric wards and hospital waiting rooms and developed an Art Therapy Program to reduce negative impact of hospitalization. Our team worked closely with pediatricians, psychologists, teachers, architects and designers. Through the design, production and promotion of the giant coloring maps, Orasul Meu, Culorile Mele managed to raise money to renovate waiting rooms and pediatric wards in several hospitals from Romania to the Republic of Moldova.