Hrystyna Kit created JurFem: A Program for Sexual Assault Survivors that Provides Support and Protection
By: Serena Singh
The Russian-Ukraine War has not been easy for anyone, but it has been especially hard for women and girls. Women and girls face sexual violence frequently and have no protection or support. They are harassed and there is no end to it. Hrystyna Kit saw this problem and decided to take action, creating the program JurFem where she is “collaborating with partners to ensure conflict-related sexual violence survivors receive protection and support from law enforcement and service providers”. Hrystyna Kit was shocked when she saw the high domestic violence rates with no support for women and girls available. Kit wants change for her own safety and for the safety of those around her. She wants to feel safe in her home country.
JurFem, the Ukrainian Women Lawyers Association organization, is a group of women using legal and other means to fighting against gender-based violence. All the women in the organization have high levels of education and a lot of knowledge about gender inequality. JurFem provides support from “service providers” and law enforcement agencies to guarantee the safety of survivors and their health. JurFem helps all females and does not discriminate. The main focus of the organization is to promote the safety of women in their homes and to ensure that the war does not overlook sexual abuse. Law enforcement has stepped in and made a big difference for survivors and, overall, has learned more about domestic abuse. Kit praises activism and believes that everyone can make a difference— there is no special set of skills or degree that is needed. Kit is trying her best and makes the point that it is challenging to move JurFem forward when everyone’s daily life is affected by the war and people are focused on saving their lives and protecting their loved ones.
As life happens and unfortunate events like the Russian-Ukraine war occur, the world needs to find ways to prevent sexual violence against women. JurFem is a brilliant program that cares about this abuse that so often gets overlooked, and is willing to fight even through the darkest times. It is critical to develop more programs like this so woman and girls around the world can be safe and can go about their daily lives without having to worry about sexual assault.