This profile was prepared when Krystyna Zytecka was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2006.
The New Idea
Domestic violence creates a cycle of anxiety that continues to haunt victims long after a traumatic experience is over. Krystyna focuses on the barriers that keep victims stuck in this cycle and enables victims to regain control over their lives. Her work targets the police force and develops a police-citizen organization partnership to support a network of violence prevention centers. The centers are based at the local police station and operated by an independent counselor and a police officer. The center provides quality care and assistance to victims of violence and their families from the moment of the incident until the final court verdict is announced. Through advocacy at the state level, Krystyna shelters violence victims by providing them with a safe and comfortable environment from which to defend their rights. Krystyna continues to persuade public service institutions to shift focus from the oppressor to the victims and their rights. These institutions help monitor the protection of victims’ rights and safety, as well as the corresponding penalties for the assailant.