This project addresses the issue of increasing gender-based violence in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodship. Prior to the pandemic, a minimum of 57% of women are estimated to have experienced violence – usually mental abuse (53%) and physical violence (23%), but also financial and sexual abuse. Domestic violence increased significantly due to the pandemic. Women with disabilities and LGBT persons are especially at risk of violence and exclusion, while violence continues to be taboo, especially in small towns. Many people are unaware that they are victims of violence, and also do not know where to go for help. There are many shortcomings in the local violence prevention system, and it does not meet their needs. The lack of a range of psychological support measures and the criteria for eligibility for free aid disqualify many people.
The Project Promoter will operate the Warmińsko-Mazurskie Women’s Help Center in Ruciane-Nida and a Consultation Point in Olsztyn. The center will provide free specialist, legal, psychological, mediation, and coaching help. Women will attend WenDo self-defense and assertiveness workshops, two Nazywam się Miliard campaigns, two 16 Days of Violence Prevention campaigns, twenty networking and empowerment meetings, and six meetings with specialists on women’s and minorities’ rights. There will also be two women’s rights campaigns. The Center Team will be trained in communication and working with violence and discrimination victims, and have a study visit to an organization in Iceland that operates an abused women shelter.
The measures will primarily benefit women at risk of violence and discrimination in the Warmińsko-Mazurskie voivodship (230 people). They will be given comprehensive support, a greater sense of self-esteem and agency, assertiveness, and ability to set boundaries. They will improve their awareness of their rights and forge closer ties with each other.