This study was conducted as a part of project “Promoting Community Security and Prevention of Violence in Public Places in Eastern Ukraine”, which is implemented by UN Women in the partnership with ICF “Ukrainian Foundation for Public Health” in Rubizhne of Luhansk Oblast. This project is part of the Safe Cities and Secure Public Spaces global initiative, including the Safe Cities Free from Violence against Women and Girls global program, launched in 2010, and it currently covers more than 40 cities worldwide. These are the first global efforts to develop typical approaches to prevent and respond to sexual violence against women and girls in public places, the impact of which can be assessed.

Scoping study was aimed to analyze the prevalence of sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in public places, factors contributing to sexual violence and harassment, its impact and coping strategies of women and girls. Research results were used for development of a local programme aimed at improving the safety of women and girls in public places.

The scoping study methodology was developed in accordance with the requirements of the guide to conducting surveys in the framework of the Safe Cities Initiative, developed by UN Women. It combined a desk review, qualitative sociological methods and a security audit.

  • The desk review provided an overview of administrative data, the results of available sociological research, local policies, analytical materials and other sources.
  • 21 in-depth interviews with experts (deputies of the city council, heads and specialists of its executive bodies, medical and social institutions, the National Police, representatives of mass media and local NGOs ).
  • 10 focus groups were also held with male and female representatives of the local community (83 respondents in total), including 7 focus groups with women and girls (including IDP women) and 3 focus groups with men and boys.
  •  4 in-depth interviews with women who are limited from free movement in the city due to their disabilities or serious illnesses (i.e. HIV) and may be at higher risk of sexual harassment and other types of violence.
  • Safety audit of territories conducted on 10 routes, which covered more than 80% of public places in Rubizhne area.

The results of the study were presented at a stakeholder meeting on October 8, 2019 in Rubizhne.