Terms of Reference for the Experts to conduct training sessions on the subject of providing support to women and children sexual violence survivors

Terms of Reference for the Experts to conduct training sessions on the subject of providing support to women and children sexual violence survivors

Published on August 12, 2022 by Atina – Citizens' Association for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings and All Forms of Violence against Women (i.e. NGO Atina)

Project title: Improving Support to VAWG Victims in Serbia


NGO Atina is implementing the project “Improving Support to VAWG Victims in Serbia” with the support of the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) and with the financial support of the European Union. The project is a part of a wider regional project Ending violence against women in the Western Balkans and Turkey named “Implementing Norms, Changing Minds”.

The main aim of the project is to improve the position of women and girls – victims of violence – by enhancing the accessibility and capacities of shelters to respond to their actual and assessed needs. The project has three main results to achieve. In the first phase, an Analysis of the existing support and protection services provided to VAWG and domestic violence victims in shelters in Serbia will be done, followed by data collection through online questionnaires and focus group interviews. The Analysis of the existing support and protection services provided to VAWG and domestic violence victims in shelters in Serbia should lead to the development of a proposition of quality standards to ensure a victim-centred and integrated approach to shelter accommodation. In the second phase, mentoring sessions are planned, which should be held for 5 safe houses in the following cities - Nis, Zrenjanin, Sremska Mitrovica, Kragujevac and Pancevo. In the third phase, trainings for all professionals working within safe houses from the territory of Serbia, which are scheduled for September and October this year will be implemented.


Both CEDAW and GREVIO's latest (periodical) reports on Serbia marked the shortages in the service provision to VAWG victims and recommended their improvements. The shortages are noted in the provision of safe accommodation to victims, particularly to victims from vulnerable groups of women. Out of 15 existing shelters in Serbia, aimed at victims of violence, only 9 are specifically designed and equipped to receive women and children victims of domestic violence. 

At the same time, the range and quality of services provided in these shelters vary quite significantly. Most of the shelters are understaffed, and none of them offers trained professionals on duty 24/7. Therefore, some of the shelters lock the doors overnight which means that the movement of women and children is restricted until the next day. 

Istanbul Convention in article 23 obliges states parties to “take the necessary legislative or other measures to provide for the setting-up of appropriate, easily accessible shelters in sufficient numbers to provide safe accommodation for and to reach out pro-actively to victims, especially women and their children”.

In January 2020, GREVIO recommended Serbia “ensure the provision of specialist women’s support services with a gendered approach and expand the provision of shelters while ensuring de facto access of all women, in particular women with disabilities, Roma women and women migrants/asylum seekers”. In order to do so, Serbian authorities are also invited to map the existing shelters and assess their capacities. Moreover, in its report GREVIO suggested Serbian authorities to “introduce and apply quality standards – in addition to the existing licensing standards - for shelters that accommodate victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence based on a gendered understanding of violence against women, the empowerment of victims and a victim-centred and integrated approach to service provision”.

On the other hand, in its Concluding Observations on Serbia, issued on March 14, 2019, CEDAW recommended the government “ensure that all women victims of gender-based violence, including the most disadvantaged groups, have unimpeded access to effective protection from violence, including by ensuring free legal aid provision by experienced State, academia and NGO professionals, a sufficient number of State-funded accessible shelters and an anonymous SOS helpline to be operated by personnel experienced in working with victims of violence; raise public awareness of State and NGO-run available services”.

As for the victims of trafficking, the only specialized shelter available to victims in Serbia is the one run by NGO Atina. Organization Atina opened the first shelter for victims of trafficking in the country, which has for 19 years now been providing safe accommodation for victims of trafficking and all forms of gender-based violence. Four years ago, the organization licensed this service as “assisted housing”. In addition, refugee and migrant women who are victims of violence and exploitation cannot access the state-run or local community-run shelters, as the state/municipalities usually refuse to cover the expenses for women who are not residents. Therefore, the only possibilities available to these women are shelters run by civil society organizations, primarily the ones run by NGO Atina.

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed the need to improve safeguarding procedures in shelters, all in line with health safety measures.


Two experts, with specific backgrounds in the area of psychology, psychotherapy and special education for working with children and women victims of violence should carry out the training sessions with the goal to advance the capacities of professional workers and associates in order to improve the position of children and women victims of violence, as well as the accessibility and capacity of safe houses to respond to the real and estimated needs of victims of violence.

The particular goal of the training is to point out the phenomenology of violence, highlighting sexual violence as a form of violence against women that is not sufficiently recognized within other forms of violence, especially violence that occurs in the family, partner and marital relationships. A special goal of the training is to provide an understanding of how specific forms of violence, such as sexual assault and witnessing violence, can influence the development of a traumatic experience.

The training is intended for professional workers, as well as associates engaged in providing shelter services for women and children victims of domestic violence, as well as for representatives of service providers, i.e. centres for social work, centres for the development of local services, citizens' associations' representatives.

Two experts will be responsible for two main issues:

  1. Creating and carrying out training sessions on the specific subject of:
  • Trauma, traumatic experience and symptoms of trauma;
  • Approach to, and communication with, children victims of violence in accordance with developmental characteristics and
  • Children witnessing violence.

2. Delivering a comprehensive report on implemented activities.

The training is scheduled to be realized on October 5th and 6th, 2022 and should take place in Belgrade, for a total number of 30 participants.

Implementation of the whole process of planning and delivering the training sessions should last from September 15 until October 15, 2022.




15/09/2022 – 29/09/2022

Preparation of the training sessions, creation of the presentations

05/10/2022 – 06/10/2022

Implementation of the training sessions

07/10/2022 - 15/10/2022

Delivering comprehensive report on implemented activities










NGO Atina will negotiate a number of days of engagement with the selected trainers on the basis of the financial offer (gross amount) that will classify the following:


Activity description


Rate per day


Activity 1





Activity 2





Activity 3





Activity 4





*Add columns as needed depending on the number of activities needed to perform the assignment

            Subtotal                                               USD__________

            Other costs (specify)                           USD__________

            TOTAL                                               USD__________

The total cost should cover all preparatory work regarding the job description, and communication costs between the Project team, consultants and organizations (e-mail, telephone, fax, mail).



The interested consultant should develop and submit the bidding proposal in the English language to respond to above mentioned specific tasks no later than September 2, 2022.  The bidding proposal should include:

1. Description and contact details of the trainers applying;

2. A detailed Budget Proposal (in the required form);

3. CV of trainers involved emphasizing only relevant experience;

4. Past performance in similar areas of a trainer applying, with reference to previous contracting agencies.


The project team will make a decision on the selection of the most successful bidder, subject to the available budget, on the following four criteria:

  • University degree in the relevant field;
  • A minimum of 10 years of relevant experience;
  • Experience of the candidate in performing similar projects or programs;
  • An example of previous work as a reference of previous experience is desirable.


All bids need to be submitted no later than September 2, 2022, at 5 PM in electronic version, to the email marija.pantelic@atina.org.rs

A selection will be made no later than September 7, 2022, and the selected consultant will be contracted no later than September 9, 2022. Only the selected candidate will be informed.