MOCNA strength and support center
human rights
City (headquarters):
Voivodeship (headquarters):
HerStory Foundation, Zakręcie, Poland
01-01-2021 - 31-01-2022
Project cost:
32 707,00 EUR
28 875,00 EUR
Types of activities:
intervention actions and assistance for women exposed to violence, including domestic and sexual violence, counteracting gender-based violence, training of professional groups
Target groups:
women, persons experiencing violence, professionals

The project responds to the problem of insufficient support for people with experience of sexual violence. In Poland, institutional support is primarily focused on helping those experiencing domestic violence, but there is a lack of institutions that specialize in helping those with experience of sexual violence. Meanwhile, research by the STER Foundation (2016) shows that more than 40% of women have received unwanted sexual propositions, more than 41% have experienced harassment two to five times, nearly 20% have been harassed six to ten times and as many as 25% have been harassed more than ten times. The vast majority of cases of sexual violence (94.6%) have never been reported to the police. Women most often do not report sexual violence because they feel ashamed to contact institutions, are convinced that the police will ignore them, as well as that they can better manage on their own.

As part of the project, a local intervention and information point “MOCNA – strength and support center” was set up for women with experience of sexual violence from Poznan and the surrounding area. The point provided direct psychological and legal assistance to several dozen women. Training was organized for those working in institutions to which women experiencing violence report. There were also workshops on consent in intimate relationships, setting boundaries and shaping self-esteem, as well as development workshops to raise women’s self-esteem. Also part of the project were 3 assertiveness and self-defense WenDo workshops for women. Networking and information meetings were organized for institutions interested in forming a coalition for a safer public space, including organizations, venues, clubs, public and cultural institutions from Poznan. The meetings were accompanied by an online information campaign on safer public space.

A total of 42 people benefited from psychological and legal consultations. The psychological support was long-lasting and comprehensive – it included 10 to several hours of consultations, as well as empowerment and educational workshops. The Grantee’s offer filled a gap in the assistance offered locally to women after experiencing sexual violence. The project was also another step in the debate about the need to create safe public spaces, and the institutions participating in the meetings pledged to ensure that their places were free of abuse.

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