In Poland there is no system of all-embracing support for women who are abused, and there is also no active network of women self-advocates who have experienced sexual abuse. Our observations from discrimination prevention and WenDo workshops confirm the appalling lack of knowledge on the issue of rape within marriage or date rape, and other forms of sexual abuse. In addition, people who decide to report cases to the institutions responsible for providing support are victimized twofold, as the support system is ineffective. A vast majority of people subjected to domestic abuse are women: in 2019 there were more than 227 000, compared to 39 000 men and 63 000 children. Statistics show a 40% rise in acts of domestic abuse during the time of the pandemic, and these are only the cases that have been reported.
The project addresses the fact that there is no all-embracing system of support for women who have been sexually abused.
We envisage work in three areas: one-on-one and group psychological support, self-help groups, a Consent workshop; a meeting on the subject of sexuality and returning to fully living life after experiencing trauma; WenDo workshops (self-defense and assertiveness); artetherapy.
We plan supervision for people who conduct self-help groups and interpersonal training for female leaders of these groups. We will organize two seminars featuring talks given by self-advocates and an exhibition displaying their works. The women self-advocates will write articles for publication online.
In direct measures, the project will help 15 women from various places in Poland who have experienced sexual abuse.
The women participants will have improved emotional and mental wellbeing. They will stop seeing themselves as someone who was abused and will regain an ability for effective action and self-confidence. They will take self-advocacy measures and create a support network in their immediate area. Working together, they will formulate recommendations for further measures.