«It seems»: Masha Efrosinina announced the launch of a campaign to combat domestic violence

All the victims of domestic violence in Ukraine could fill 25 Olympic stadiums. Masha Efrosinina, the Institute of Cognitive Modeling, and the Red Cross Society of Ukraine have launched an all-Ukrainian educational campaign «It seems» to combat this large-scale problem. The first step was the presentation of the online platform itseems.com.ua where victims of violence can speak out anonymously and be heard. 

It is symbolic that the event took place in the National Sports Complex «Olimpiyskiy». According to Masha Efrosinina, this choice aimed to show the real scale of the problem. According to official data, approximately 1.8 million people suffer from abusers every year, which can fill 25 such stadiums. According to the organizers, in a civilized country, there should be zero tolerance for violence, and society should realize that only the aggressor is always to blame.

Last year, 74 people died at the hands of domestic tyrants. 141 people received serious injuries, and more than a thousand received light injuries. Only in Kyiv, from January 1 to 11, during the New Year holidays, 743 people reported domestic violence. In particular, 629 people contacted the police, the rest called the municipal hotline. Such data was announced by Masha Efrosinina.

«We are in a huge stadium. Listen up. Do you hear that? Yes, this is silence, because those who suffer from domestic violence, are silent, they are ashamed and scared,» Masha stated. «These are not only women but also men and children. And for many of them, this violence only «seems» to be happening. Hence the name of our campaign. I want us all to hear their «silence». It is necessary to talk about this large-scale problem not only in November as part of the «16 Days of Combating Domestic violence», not only after new blatant cases. Only by systematically working to solve the problem, in particular in communication, regularly raising this topic, will we be able to formulate zero tolerance of society to domestic violence.»

The first stage of the campaign was the launch of the online platform «It seems», a symbolic diary where victims of violence can tell their stories anonymously or read the stories of those who are also going through a difficult life period. In addition, there can be found contacts of special services who provide help. 

Viktor Berezenko, the founder of the Institute of Cognitive Modeling, states that only one person is guilty of violence –the aggressor. And never a victim. However, not everyone in society still understands this.

«Such phrases as «it’s your fault», «you should have been silent», «you provoked it» and other Soviet stereotypes should remain in the past. We cannot be a civilized and modern country until our society realizes that only the aggressor is always to blame. And for this purpose, we are launching the «It seems» campaign and a platform of the same name. Each victim can use it and tell their story anonymously, or read the confessions of others and understand that they are not alone. We all need to understand that this is not a problem of a particular person, but of a whole society that still lives with post-Soviet stereotypes, and because of this, victims may not get help. Moreover, they can even be judged. We will change the public consciousness about the problem of domestic violence. And, of course, we will do everything possible to attract the attention of the authorities to it,» says Viktor Berezenko.

The campaign to combat domestic violence was supported by the Red Cross Society of Ukraine.

«I am sure that the beginning of such cooperation will help us to be heard by government agencies, society, and opinion leaders,» says Maxym Dotsenko, General Director of the RCSU. «The Red Cross Society is about more than one hundred years of being with the ones who need help. Of course, we could not stay away from this initiative. This year, the problem of domestic violence has become acute not only in Ukraine but also in the whole world. In France, during the quarantine period, the number of reports on domestic violence increased by 30%, and in the UK by 50%. In Ukraine, reports increased by 40%. We need to do something about it, to talk about it, to be loud. Therefore, we strongly backed the launch of such a joint initiative.»

The online platform «It seems» is only the first step of the educational campaign. The organizers plan to systematically inform the public, involving stars and opinion leaders, as well as government representatives to cooperate, to form together zero tolerance on this issue. Also for 2021, it is planned to launch the Viber channel «Stop Abuse», an online course from psychiatrist Spartak Subbota and the publication of his author’s book on domestic violence.

You can watch the social video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByOlZ66DGRk&feature=youtu.be