OSCE Centre in Dushanbe helps open first shelter for women in Tajikistan

DUSHANBE, 1 July 2005 - Providing refuge for victims of domestic violence, trafficking and other forms of abuse is the aim of the first shelter for women in Tajikistan, which was opened by the OSCE Field Office in Khujand today.

The shelter is part of a new a three-year project financed by the U.S. State Department through the OSCE and implemented by the Crisis Centre "Gulrukhsor". Since 1996, "Gulrukhsor" has been offering women in Tajikistan's northern region free medical consultations and social and psychological rehabilitation.

"We are very excited to be able to help open the first shelter for women in Tajikistan," said Frank Johansen of the OSCE Field Office in Khujand.

"The city authorities have been very supportive and are considering providing a permanent location. This is important for the long term sustainability of the shelter and the women's Crisis Centre. In the future, it would make better sense if such social services were provided by local or regional authorities."

"Data collected last year from a hotline run by the Crisis Centre revealed that up to 75 per cent of calls were from women in crisis situations," he added. "Over 35 per cent of the calls were related to domestic violence. Every second caller was in need of temporary shelter."