Women’s Support Center – Passage of Armenia’s New Domestic Violence Law

Summer-Fall 2018 Newsletter

Welcome to the Women’s Support Center’s e-newsletter designed to keep you informed of current activities. Below WSC highlights the work carried out in the past few months to ensure the safety of women and children, victims of domestic violence, and advocate for change. Engage with WSC by following Facebook, website, and contacting WSC. Women’s Support Center would love to hear from you!


Since the passage of the new Domestic Violence(DV) law in Armenia, we have been working intensively on developing mechanisms for Police and Social Workers to facilitate the law’s monitoring and implementation. This is an ongoing process to improve services for DV victims and to ensure the prevention of DV cases. Tragically, during the first 6 months since the law was passed, and since police started to record DV cases, hundreds of cases of domestic violence have been reported. These include 9 DV related deaths, which is an extremely high figure within this timeframe and context.


WSC lawyer, Nona Galstyan (middle) working with Ministry of Social Affairs on DV law mechanisms


The new DV law and the recent democratic changes that have taken place in Armenia have increased interest on behalf of international organizations. June was a particularly busy month. We met with gender experts from UNICEF, the Open Society Foundation, the Council of Europe, Romania, and the US Embassy.  The Armenian Bar Association Detective Vahe Abramyan of the Glendale Police Department, and Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian from Los Angeles visited  and exchaned information with our staff.   A very productive and interesting exchange took place that lead to a gained awareness on California state practices for DV cases.

Detective Vahe Abramyan of the Glendale Police Department and Judge Armenui Amy Ashvanian


Interns of the Armenian Assembly and Director Arpi Vartanian visited our center to get better acquainted with the WSC’s work, as well as with women’s rights and gender equality issues in Armenia. A lively discussion ensued.

Armenian Assembly Interns Orientation at WSC


We continued training Police and Social Workers.  Additionally, World Vision selected the WSC to train 442 doctors, educators, and social workers in 13 regions in Armenia. This offers us further exposure to the regions, and allows us to creating valuable contacts and foster collaborations.


Armenian Festival 2018

Click to view the video below.


Armenia: Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown


If you haven’t seen this episode yet, it’s not only fabulous because, well…. it’s Armenia!  It’s also extra fabulous because towards the end, during the last meal, you’ll recognize a special Hopscotch friend. How cool is that?!?!?!

Click here to watch.

Armenian Children’s Day on Sunday, June 24th!


We hope your family will join us in welcoming Mr. Albert Virabyan from the Ministry of Justice along with our beloved partner Rose Lavchyan on Sunday, June 24th here in High Point, NC.

The time and place will be announced soon.

****Be sure to add your name to this post if your family may be able to attend. We are so excited for both Mr Virabyan and Rose to be here and to see all of your children!!

International Conference Explores Armenia’s Goal to Close Institutions


Several years ago, the Armenian government began a process of deinstitutionalization, which involved substantially reducing the number of publically-run orphanages, residential schools, and night boarding facilities in favor of placing children in home-based care (with a biological relative or in a foster or adoptive placement). In April 2016, the Human Rights Watch reported that there were nearly 3,700 Armenian children living in residential institutions, and 90% of these children had at least one living parent. Many children were placed in public care because they had a disability and needed extra medical and educational assistance. These children’s special needs made it harder for the Armenian government to reunify them with their biological families or adoptive families, due to the fact that homes and communities struggle to provide the resources and support services these children need.

Continue reading>

Armenian Festival on September 8-10 in San Francisco!


Armenian Donor Trip 2017 – Offered by the Armenia Fund


Armenian Festival – June 11th – Watertown, MA


Armenian Potluck for NC and SC Families

armenian flag 2015

Armenian Potluck


April 22, 2017

5:00 pm

First Southern Methodist Church,

2017 Fork Shoals Rd.

(Near the I-185 Southern connector tollroad.)

Greenville, SC

Please bring:

Meat dish

Salad or dessert


RSVP Kathy Chorbajian 864-269-3533


In Armenia, ‘What Do You Want to Be?’ Is Asked in Infancy – NYTimes.com

Source: www.nytimes.com

By Bryant Rousseau

Image1Children in Armenia start thinking about their careers at a very young age — around six months or so.

When an infant’s first tooth arrives, typically in four to seven months, a celebration takes place known variously as the “agra hadig” or “atam hatik.”

As part of the ritual, objects symbolizing different professions are arrayed in front of a child: a microphone for an entertainer, a stethoscope for a doctor, scissors for a tailor or money for a banker. Whichever object the baby chooses first is thought to be a sign of where the child’s professional aptitude lies.

Continue reading.

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