The study was carried out as part of the project “Equal access of women affected by violence to the assistance,” which was implemented by AUCO “Convictus Ukraine”with the support of the International Renaissance Foundation.

The study aimed to identify barriers and obstacles for women from marginalized groups who were affected by violence in receiving health and social services in sheltersand centers for socio-psychological assistance to victims of violence.

The study focused on:

  1. Assessing the service needs of marginalized women affected by violence.
  2. Determining the readiness of marginalized women to seek assistance in case of violence in shelters and centers.
  3. Identifying the interest, knowledge, skills and understanding of social service providers in working with marginalized women.
  4. Assessing the service providers’ needs in training and technical assistance for working with marginalized women affected by violence.

The study geography covered 7 regions of Ukraine: Kyiv,Volyn, Donetsk, Ivano-Frankivsk, Poltava, Kharkiv, and Chernivtsi.

The study was based on qualitative sociological methods, namely:

1) Focus groups (FG) with women aged 18-59 from marginalized groups (people who use psychoactive substances (alcohol/drugs), involved in sex work, stateless women, refugees, etc.), who were affected by violence.

The respondents were recruited with the help of NGOs, charitable foundations, activists who provide social and psychological assistance to marginalized women. A total of 7 focus groups were conducted, one per each region within the sample.

2) In-depth interviews with the experts who served:

  • representatives of local authorities and their executive bodies involved in the formation and implementation of social policy;
  • representatives of NGOs dealing with the issues of marginalized women, including those who suffered from violence;
  • representatives of regional institutions (shelters, centers) that provide social and psychological assistance to women victims of violence.

Separate guides were developed for each category of experts. The questions focused on the experience of the experts in the area of assistance and counteracting violence in general and for marginalized women in particular; the interest and willingness to assist marginalized women affected by violence; and the need for technical, methodological and other assistance. A total of 21 interviews were conducted, 3 per each region.