UN in Myanmar staff training on Intimate Partner Violence

Yangon: The United Nations Country Team in Myanmar has launched a new handbook for its staff to enable them to better understand domestic and intimate partner violence and how to address the issue.

The book provides a broad range of information and resources for those seeking assistance or wanting to learn more about intimate partner violence, including options for how to respond.

It also includes information for perpetrators of intimate partner violence to recognize their own violent behaviours that need to be stopped and  seek further support services.

The UN Country Team which consists of the heads of about 21 UN agencies in Myanmar, says the book constitutes an important addition to UN agencies’ induction training for new personnel.

“Violence against women is one of the most serious, life threatening and widespread violations of human rights,” the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator, Ola Almgren told staff when launching the book during 16 Days of Activism to Prevent Gender Based Violence which runs from November 25 to December 10.

“It is our collective responsibility to ensure UN staff in Myanmar are equipped with essential knowledge on how to recognize intimate partner violence and where to seek help and support for themselves or those affected by violence,” said Mr. Almgren.

“This resource book is one step towards making our homes, workplaces and communities into safer places where violence is not acceptable.“

Intimate partner violence usually consists of a pattern of assaultive and coercive behaviours, including physical, sexual and psychological attacks, as well as economic coercion, by a current or former intimate partner.

It can occur within heterosexual or same-sex relationships and does not require sexual relations.

Violence committed by an intimate partner – whether a current or former spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend or dating partner – has devastating physical, emotional, financial, and social effects on women, children, families, and communities.

Mr. Almgren said perpetrating intimate partner violence goes against everything that UN agencies stand for.

“Myanmar is not spared the scourge of domestic violence, neither are United Nations staff members and their families.

“Some of us might have encountered at some point in our career, a colleague who had suffered from domestic violence. And some of us might even had to deal with colleagues who regrettably were the abusers.

“The United Nations has zero tolerance for abuse of authority, sexual abuse and harassment.

“But having zero tolerance for violence and abuse is not enough.  As an organization, we must also ensure that our staff members are informed about intimate partner violence and that survivors of violence receive the support they need.”

“As UN staff it is our duty, whatever our line of work, to be strong advocates for the rights of women and girls in Myanmar, to say no to violence against women and to speak out when we see it. We must do so not only because it is the right thing to do but also because stopping violence against women and girls is key to the prosperity of families and communities and contributes to a more peaceful and inclusive society.”

The handbook was jointly created by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women).

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UN entities involved in this initiative
RCO
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
UNFPA
United Nations Population Fund