Improved access to services for survivors of gender-based violence

Press release, 11.06.2019

Through the "Combating Gender-Based Violence in Mongolia" Project of UNFPA, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, and the Mongolian Government, seven new One Stop Service Centers (OSSCs) have been opened in five provinces - Khuvsgul, Bayan-Ulgii, Darkhan-Uul, Khentii, and Dornod - as well as two districts of Ulaanbaatar - Khan-Uul and Bayanzurkh - within the last year. Another two Centers are expected to be launched in Umnogobi and Uvurkhangai in 2019.

Opening of the One Stop Shop Centers
Opening of the One Stop Shop Centers © UNIFPA

The OSSCs were set up in areas that were identified as having a high prevalence of GBV in the first National Survey in Mongolia, carried out in 2017 by the National Statistics Office with the support of the project. They offer accommodation, health, psychological and legal counselling, and protective services to assist people in healing and recovery. Since their opening in the last quarter of 2018, 2850 people (1195 women, 1628 children and 27 men) received assistance at the OSSCs. 

Both the survivors and their surrounding communities assess positively the impact of these Centers. A survivor of physical and psychological violence at home, who received help at one of the centers, said the support she was given had significantly contributed to the healing process for her family and in helping ensure that domestic violence did not occur again.

During her stay at one of the OSSCs, a multidisciplinary team worked closely with her husband, which led him to voluntarily avail of free rehabilitation services to address his alcoholism, which in turn enabled him to stop drinking and return to work. Her children also continued to receive an education while they were at the center, which boosted their self-confidence and resulted in them receiving awards and recognition from their schools. 

On a personal level, she had learned techniques for stress relief and self-protection, and had gained enough confidence to apply for, and secure, a job. "I am extremely thankful to the OSSC staff for their help, and for referring my children to a school to give me the freedom to work and to improve my life,” she said. 

R. Mashbat, Secretary of Khuvsgul’s Crime Prevention Sub-Council, said the OSSCs had been instrumental in responding to GBV in the aimag. “Khuvsgul was ranked 10th of the aimags with the highest prevalence of GBV” he said, " The Law to Combat Domestic Violence and other related laws and policies have been approved, but the OSSC was vital in enforcing and implementing these laws to protect the survivors and prevent GBV. The Crime Prevention Sub-Council of Khuvsgul, is very grateful for the establishment of the OSSC in our aimag,” 

The OSSCs are part of a larger multi-sectoral initiative to combat GBV in Mongolia by: (1) Institutionalising data collection for more targeted interventions; (2) Raising awareness among key stakeholders and the public about the realities of GBV; and (3) Providing multidisciplinary responses to GBV and domestic violence. 

In the past three years, in addition to the establishment of the OSSCs, the project has achieved a number of important milestones, including the approval of the revised Law to Combat Domestic Violence that criminalises GBV and the multi-sectoral standard operating procedures to operationalise the law, the publication of the landmark National Gender-Based Violence report, and the development and adoption of an eGBV integrated database system.