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There are currently 23 temporary safe shelters across the country to house and support women who are victims of domestic violence and runaway girls.
People

SWO Says Planning More Safe Havens

The State Welfare Organization is planning to increase the number of safe shelters for vulnerable women and provide childcare centers close to the existing shelters, head of SWO, Anoushiravan Mohseni Bandpei said.
There are currently 23 temporary safe shelters across the country to house and support women who are victims of domestic violence and runaway girls. Of these centers, 17 are private-run and 6 are owned by the state, the official was quoted by IRNA as saying.
Noting that three new safe shelters opened in Golestan, Chaharmahal-Bakhtiari and Isfahan provinces in recent weeks, Bandpei said, “SWO is taking steps to increase the number of temporary safe shelters to at least one shelter in each province before the end of the fiscal next March.”
SWO is also planning to add childcare centers inside or adjacent to the existing safe homes. “The intention is to help prevent the adverse psychological effects on children caused as a result of separation from their mothers.”
The women shelters do not admit children along with their mothers. Instead, the children are sent to boarding homes where they reside temporarily until their mothers become financially self-reliant.
Women admitted to the shelters are tested for HIV and hepatitis as well as drug abuse. One major condition for their admittance is that they should be free from such diseases.
Women who face domestic violence and do not have a place to stay can call the hotline number 123, after which the SWO takes measures to house them in one of the shelters.

   Obligations of States
The United Nations views the provision of shelter and other services as a critical part of states’ obligation to protect victims of violence. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, for example, calls on governments to “provide well-funded shelters and relief support for girls and women subjected to violence, as well as medical, psychological and other counseling services and free or low-cost legal aid, where it is needed, as well as appropriate assistance to enable them to find a means of subsistence.” In countries where governments have failed to ensure the availability of adequate services for victims of domestic violence, however, such services are generally provided by NGOs.
According to UN Women, the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women, violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death.
It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development.
Decades of mobilizing by civil society and women’s movements have put ending gender-based violence high on national and international agendas. An unprecedented number of countries have laws against domestic violence, sexual assault and other forms of violence.
Challenges remain however in implementing these laws, limiting women and girls’ access to safety and justice. Not enough is done to prevent violence, and when it does occur, it often goes unpunished.

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