Challenging Transnistrian authorities’ (non)response to intimate partner violence (IPV)

Author(s): Natalia Rezneac
Final project
Year of publication:
Supervisors: Randi W. Stebbins


Intimate partner violence (IPV) is widespread in Transnistria. In this separatist region in the Republic of Moldova, women victims of IPV do not have access to a legal framework that would protect them from aggressors, although there has been a government in Transnistria for 30 years now. Because the Transnistrian authorities do not recognize IPV as a social problem, it remains hidden, and the number of abused women is increasing every year. Due to the fact that abusers go unpunished, Transnistrian authorities encourage this increase in the amount of violence against women (VAW) cases and further normalize misogyny against girls and women.

Only Civil society addresses IPV as a social issue in Transnistria. Through the services provided, NGOs help women break the circle of violence. But this effort is too little without the involvement of the authorities. As IPV is not criminalized, NGOs can’t extend their services and are left alone to tackle this issue. In the absence of a law, police officers, for example, cannot evict the perpetrator or have the means to ensure that victims will be safe when at imminent risk. While other countries and regions have made progress in gender equality, the Transnistrian government does not assume responsibility and is completely ignorant towards women’s safety.

In seeking a solution to an urgent problem, a change is needed immediately, and this project aims to create a bridge between different stakeholders, including civil society and the local communities in Transnistria. This union will become a joint force that will act together to change the narrative around violence against girls and women, which will subsequently lead to the adoption of an IPV law. By having a law, women’s lives will be improved, and Transnistria will become safer for local women and girls.