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A UNFPA supported safe house operated by the Association for Women's Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD) was inaugurated today in Hawassa, capital of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region. The safe house which will be supported with funding from the Kingdom of Netherlands Embassy seeks to revive the lives women and girls who survived gender-based violence.

The safe house provides a comprehensive service of psychological support, shelter, meal, medication counseling, basic literacy education to survivors of violence. The survivors are referred to the safe house by law enforcement bodies and Women and Children Affairs Offices. The survivors spend up to a period of three months in the safe house but depending on the severity of their case they could stay longer. During their stay in the safe house the survivors are given various skills and vocational training as well as counseling to enable them cope better when they go out.

The four safe houses operated by AWSAD in the country – including the new one opened in Hawassa – support hundreds of women and girls each year. The association also provides capacity building trainings to government institutions like police and Women and Children Affairs Offices to provide quality services for women and girls.