The Project Promoter addresses the problem of abuse of women and young people, especially mental and financial abuse, in the Municipality of Jeleśnia. 13 000 people live in the municipality, while the number of Blue Cards created in the municipality in recent years has been between 50 and 70 (Żywiec County Family Aid Center). This does not fully reflect the problem, however – gender-based violence continues to be taboo, especially in small towns and villages. In addition, alcohol abuse by perpetrators is a contributing factor, and this is almost a universal problem in the municipality. Since 2019, the Project Promoter has operated the only free psychological counseling center in the vicinity, while it has observed a significant increase in the need for help in recent months. Meanwhile, there is no other support available in the area for abuse victims – the nearest psychological on-call service is in Żywiec, twenty kilometers away. While there is a legal advice desk in the municipal authority office, it does not provide mediation.
The Project Promotor will develop the activity of its psychological aid center and expand the scope of support by providing free mediation. The center’s operations will be accompanied by a local information campaign on the aid available, intended also to raise public awareness of the problem of abuse. The campaign will include a series of programs on the local internet radio station.
The measures are intended for abused people living in the Jeleśnia municipality – primarily women and young people. In total, approximately 400 people will receive psychological counseling and mediation. They will receive real support, improve belief in themselves and their self-esteem, regain a sense of agency and influence, and develop conflict resolution skills. Local residents will also become more aware of the problem of violence – how common it is and the forms it takes.