Empowerment and support of women survivors of abuse
Provision of information to women survivors of domestic violence and interconnection of them with support services (shelters, counseling centers etc.)
Holistic support of women survivors of domestic and/or sexual violence [e.g. information, empowerment, psychosocial, legal, educational, occupational support, cover basic needs (e.g. clothing), accompanying services (e.g. at police stations, forensic examination, medical, court], provision of support for their children), either face-to-face or in distance.
Development of specialized methodologies for support and empowerment of abused women as well as individualized support services designed on the basis of the needs of each woman
Development of tools and manuals for professionals
Awareness raising, empowerment and education of volunteers
The #SafeSteps project, is an interactive educational programme for mental well-being empowerment through sports. Specifically, the programme aims to promote the sense of safety, resilience and self-confidence of children and adolescents through their participation in sports activities.
The project will be implemented in September 2023 in collaboration with Sofia Bekatorou and the mental health center “Vima Koino” with the participation of beneficiaris from the organization “Siniparxis”, the ‘Agia Varvara’ state facility of child protection services, and Melissa Network of Migrant Women in Greece.
The project is being implemented with the support of Onassis Scholars’ Association.
Sofia Bekatorou is a double Olympic medallist in sailing who has participated in 5 Olympic Games (Sydney 2000 – Rio 2016), four as an athlete and one as a coach. She has received twice the best Sailor of the Year Award from the World Sailing Federation.
Sofia has been involved with a broad range of social responsibility activities implementing programs supported by the Hellenic Olympic Academy against bullying, promoting the Olympic values internationally. She has created a Science Technology and Math (STEM) sailing curriculum for schools which was run at DES School for 3 years. Sofia is a feminist supporting Gender Equality in sports and life and has landed some important “firsts” in her life, including being the first woman Olympic Flag Bearer for Greece (Rio 2016) and being the woman who fired the #metoo movement in Greece upon speaking openly of her sexual abuse experience as an athlete.
She has served as a member of the Hellenic Olympic Committee’s Board of Directors as an Athlete’s representative, as well as on multiple committees for World Sailing.
In collaboration with the European Antiviolence Network, NGO, she has contributed to the creation of the first platform for reporting abuse and is currectly part of a Task Force Group that seeks best practices and protocols among all stakeholders for the decrease of Domestic violence in Greece.
She is a certified sailing coach and holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology.
She currently works as a Psychologist in her private office and in a mental health Clinique (Vima Koino). She is a public speaker who designs and implements interactive seminars for companies and schools. She is a proud mother of two children, Dimitris 14 and Georgia 11 years old.
Programme Inclusivity Lounge @DEF 2023 | Equity, Diversity & Inclusion in Health 27 April 2023
15.00-15.15 Welcome remarks – Ambassador George J. Tsunis, U.S. Embassy to Greece – Kalypso Goula, General Secretary for Demography, Family Policy & Gender Equality
15.15-16.00 Panel discussion | Inclusion in Health: Gender and Disabilities Integration – Jodi Huettner, Women’s PPE specialist, Inclusive Standards Advocate, Founder Helga Wear – Nefeli Stournara, PhD Sociologist & Research Analyst, mind-view – Sara Minkara, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights, U.S. Department of State –Yanna Andronopoulou, Enterprise Lead, Microsoft Greece, Cyprus, Malta + Exec. Sponsor for Women at Microsoft In discussion with Stella Kasdagli, Co-Founder Women On Top
16.00-16.45 Panel discussion | Health & Safety in the Public Space: The Persistence of Gender-Based Violence – Sofia Bekatorou, Psychologist, Double Olympic medalist in Sailing – Kiki Petroulaki, Psychologist, BoD President, European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN). – Natalia Theodoulou, Public Reforms Advisor at Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations S.A. – Maria Skagou, Vice Chair of the Board of Directors, Director of External Affairs Vodafone Greece In discussion with Marianna Skylakaki, Founder & CEO athiNEA
16.45-17.05 Fireside chat | Healthy Outcomes: Sustainability and Inclusion – Bea Larregle, Regional Managing Director Southern Europe, Visa In discussion with Stella Kasdagli, Co-Founder Women On Top
17.05-17.50 Panel discussion | The Changemakers: Women Shaping the Future of Tech – Carolee Lee, CEO & Founder of Women’s Health Access Matters (WHAM) – Doreen Toutikian, Founder & CEO OmGyno – Sevi Vassileva, General Manager Greece, Israel, Malta and Cyprus, Visa – Maritina Rouchota, Partner & Lab Director, BIOEMTECH In discussion with Myrto Papathanou, Partner at Metavallon VC
17.50-18.25 Panel discussion | The Gendered Aspects of Mental Health – Dr Tara Porter, Clinical Psychologist and Writer – Katherine Reilly, Author & Academic Lecturer, English Literature | LGBTQI+ Business Consultant – Yannis Zervas, Psychiatrist In discussion with Pinelopi Theodorakakou, Co-Founder Women On Top
18.25-18.30 Closing remarks
18.30-19.00 Networking drinks
Information When: 27 April 2023, 15:00 – 19:00 Where: Amalia Hotel, Ermis Hall Social media: #InclusivityLoungeDEF #WoTLounges #USADEF23
“Child Custody and Visitation Rights in the Context of Domestic Violence”, which will be organized by the Mor Çatı Kadın Sığınağı Vakfı Women’s Shelter Foundation
Monday, April 10
15:00 (Turkey & Greek time)
At the meeting, Kiki Petroulaki from the European Anti-Violence Network and Mor Çatı volunteer Ayşegül Özadak will talk about the effects of domestic violence on children, especially in the case of custody and visitation rights.
The discussion will address the difficulties and violations that the women and their children experience in custody processes, to what extent the safety of women and children are taken into account when granting visitation rights, the protection mechanisms and as feminists our strategies of resistance.
2nd stage of the Interdisciplinary & Intersectoral Cooperation peer-training of trainers: study visit in Iceland
The visit was conducted in the framework of the project “Using the Icelandic Police’s paradigm to build a Greek multi-Agency substantial partnership, in order to strengthen the support and protection of women and children victims of domestic violence, in line with the standards of the Istanbul Convention” (#GR_IS_UnitedForDVSurvivors), that EAVN coordinates in partnership with the National Commissioner of Iceland and The Smile of the Child, and is funded by Active citizens fund.
The Greek delegation consisted of professionals from three sectors responsible for the handling of domestic violence cases and for the provision of support to women survivors and their children, and specifically from the:
– Domestic Violence Department, General Policing Division, Hellenic Police Headquarters
– Domestic Violence office of Alimos police station
– Athens court of first instance
– Prosecutor’s Office in the Court of First Instance of Athens
– Social services of Municipality of Agios Dimitrios
– The Smile of the Child
– European Anti-Violence Network
as well as the external experts of the project:
– Χeni Dimitriou, Honorary Prosecutor of Supreme Court of Greece
– Sofia Bekatorou, Psychologist, Olympic medalist in sailing
The Greek delegation consisted also of the Major and deputy Major of Agios Dimitrios Municipality, where the standard operating procedures (SoPs) that are being developed by the Greek Task Force will be pilot tested.
We would like to specialy thank the National Commissioner of Icelandic Police, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, for sharing with us the applied cross-sectional good practices of Iceland that prioritize the safety and wellbeing of domestic violence survivors, women and children. We would also like to thank the staff of her office for the organization of an excellent study visit as well as all the Icelandic organizations that participated.
Together with partners from Italy Maghweb and Spain Fundació Aroa we took part in a week-long training mobility in Barcelona for #AllAboutEve project, a partnership project that aims to improve the skills of organisations working with and for adult women in Europe in communication and education.
During the week, we had in-depth discussions with our Italian and Spanish partners about the methods and practices that we implement on a daily basis to combat gender-based violence. Fundació Aroa and European Anti-Violence Network are two organisations that work in close contact with women and vulnerable people at a local level, offering them legal, psychological and emotional support. Their approaches are always innovative, holistic and intersectional.
Even though there are definitely considerable cultural and legislative differences between Italy, Spain and Greece (just think of “Consellera d’Igualtat i Feminismes“ in Catalonia: a regional ministry that exists to combat discrimination against minorities at an institutional level) it became clear as the week went on that patriarchal and macho culture have a very strong presence in all three partner countries. Gender-based violence is the most extreme manifestation of this problematic culture and in order to counteract it we need raise awareness about it.
The All about Eve project is supported by the Erasmus+ agency Indire through the Erasmus+ programme.
The GEAR against IPV approach (Gender Equality Awareness Raising against Intimate Partner Violence) is a coordinated action of primary and secondary prevention of Intimate Partner Violence in adolescents’ relationships through interventions in the school or in other settings, that are guided by specially designed educational material and are aimed at secondary school students’ awareness raising and empowerment by specially trained teachers.
The main aim is to promote the development of healthy and equal relationships between the sexes and the development of zero tolerance towards violence by raising teens’ awareness on:
the characteristics of healthy and unhealthy relationships
the influence that gender stereotypical attitudes and socially imposed gender roles have on their relationships
how power inequality between the sexes is related to psychological, physical and/or sexual abuse against women/girls and
how adolescents can contribute to the prevention of all forms of gender-based violence.
Given the fact that almost all children and adolescents attend school, the educational system, at all levels, is the ideal setting for such an effort, where properly trained teachers can play a key role in the implementation of such interventions targeting the general population. The need for implementing in schools interventions related to gender stereotypes and equality, as a means of primary prevention of gender-based violence it is, therefore, imperative.
The GEAR against IPV approach is a proposal for systematic intervention in the school (or other) setting, where girls and boys are invited, through a series of experiential activities, to assess but also challenge their culturally “inherited” gender stereotypes and to approach differences between sexes as individual differences rather than as characteristics of superiority of one sex over the other.
Main Activities of the GEAR against IPV Approach
Teachers’ Training Seminars aiming to:
theoretical and experiential training of teachers on issues related to gender stereotypical attitudes, gender equality and gender-based violence in adolescents’ relationships
capacity building and skills development for the implementation and evaluation of the adolescents’ awareness raising workshops in school or other settings
development of skills related to identifying, handling and appropriate referring of cases of abuse of children and teens they may face.
Adolescents are offered, via experiential activities, the opportunity a) to assess and challenge –within a safe environment- their culturally “inherited” gender stereotypes and b) to explore the influence that gender stereotypical attitudes and socially imposed gender roles have on their relationships, as well as how power inequality between the sexes is related to violence against women and girls. Moreover, adolescents are provided with the necessary skills that will enable them to recognize –at an early stage- the unhealthy or even abusive characteristics of a relationship, and also empowered in ways that will enable them to create healthy relationships.
Therefore, the ultimate goal of the workshops is young people less tolerant towards IPV, more knowledgeable of the characteristics and consequences of gender-based violence and equipped with “protection skills” against intimate partner violence and other forms of gender-based violence, for both themselves and the people they know.
The long-term objective of the workshops is adolescents’ relationships to be healthy and based on equality and mutual respect as, in such a relationship, the phenomenon of gender-based violence is impossible to occur.
The GEAR against IPV ΙΙ Project in 5 countries (Croatia, Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Spain) includes the following activities
Mapping of preventive and supportive initiatives for IPV and Sexual Violence in adolescents
Development, cultural adaptation and evaluation of three National Packages (for Cyprus, Romania, Spain) and update of the existing Greek and Croatian National Packages (revised editions)
Implementation and evaluation of seminars for ~290 teachers and professionals [each seminar’s duration: 24 hours]
Implementation and evaluation of ~1.300 adolescents’ awareness raising workshops in secondary schools and other settings (minimum duration of each workshop: 13 teaching hours)
5 peer-to-peer informational and awareness raising campaigns on gender-based violence, via material and messages that will derive from adolescents’ creations during the workshops in each country
presentation of the project’s results in 5 National Conferences with the active involvement of adolescents and teachers who participated in the workshops
European Conference in Athens, aiming to the wide dissemination of the GEAR against IPV approach and its results, as well as to the promotion of developing new National Packages for all EU Member States, candidate and potential candidate countries.
Promotion and lobbying for the incorporation of the educational material and the adolescents’ awareness raising workshops in the school curricula of secondary education
regarding the National Packages and project’s activities in partner countries, please contact with:
Croatia: Center for Education, Counselling and Research Ε-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Cyprus: Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies Ε-mail: email@example.com
Romania: Association for Gender Equality and Liberty Ε-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spain: Plataforma Unitària contra les Violències de Gènere Ε-mail: email@example.com
regarding the project and its activities in EU Member States, the permission for developing a new National GEAR against IPV Package, the National Package and project’s activities in Greece or for any other issue, you can visit the project’s website or contact with European Anti-Violence Network
Provinciaal Centrum voor Hulpverlening inzake Kindermishandeling VZW (Confidential Centre for Child Abuse & Neglect) (CCC) – Belgium
Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn van Genk (Public Social Welfare Center Genk) (WCG) – Belgium
Openbaar Centrum voor Maatschappelijk Welzijn van Hasselt (Public Social’Welfare Center Hasselt) (V/CH) – Belgium
Provincie Antwerpen – Belgium
EAVN participated as expert in the project “Project Stopping violence against Women and children through an Integral and Fast Trajectory (SWIFT)” that was implemented with financial support from the DAPHNE III Programme of the European Union.
The aim of the project was:
to develop an integral and integrated approach to violence against women and children in the Belgian Province of Limburg: SWIFT wants the Limburg partners of police, justice, social services and government to work more effectively together, under one roof.
to strive for uniformity and quality of intervention in all 15 Limburg police districts, starting with a pilot project in the 2 biggest police districts: SWIFT focuses primarily on a chain approach on a back-office level, starting from the domestic violence reports in all Limburg police districts.
to intervene more rapidly: SWIFT keeps the time that passes between a police report and the subsequent commencement of a suitable course of action as short as possible.
to aim for a maximum alignment and efficiency of the interventions in families (3 different tracks): SWIFT offers victims the most appropriate range of services possible to empower and enable them to escape the violence and wants to hold the perpetrators responsible for the violence.
A test group of police inspectors of Limburg intervention services was trained to intervene appropriately in cases of domestic violence, especially on the topics of understanding the dynamics of domestic violence and displaying empathy:
A short and practical police training was developed, among others by using a virtual reality module (experiencing violence through the eyes of a seven-year-old child). The training has been tested and implemented, and the knowledge of the police investigators was assessed after going through the module.
The police reports from the 2 biggest Limburg police districts were centrally monitored and quickly classified by ‘a triage team’ to different tracks:
A triage instrument has been developed, tested and implemented, and the validity of the instrument was assessed.
A specific intervention module was coupled to each track, whereby:
Less serious cases lead to rapid police action and provision of help (track 1);
ln more serious and complex cases, a chain approach is being used (track 2);
In serious and complex dossiers in which a temporary restraining order is imposed, there has been experimented with intensive case management; combining crisis intervention with system-based assistance (track 3).
A blended learning module was used to train the Limburg intensive case managers. Intensive case management was tested and implemented in a region in Limburg, and the intervention module was assessed.
The figures do not lie: 8 months after the creation of the Limburg Family Justice Center (FJC) – in the context of the SWIFT project – the police regions Carma and Limburg Capital Region (a region of about 330.000 inhabitants) have registered 1,855 files of domestic violence. All these files have been classified by ‘a triage team’, using the SWIFT triage instrument. Of these files, the police and the public prosecutor’s office classify 20% as very serious (temporary restraining order and so called red files), 34% as serious and 46 % as less serious.
Thanks to the good cooperation with the assisting partners within the FJC, supported by the SWIFT project, a rapid and proactive range of assistance follows in the 2 police regions involved. In the words of the Limburg public prosecutor: “As a result, we are better at avoiding escalation and restoring safety.”
In the toughest cases, when a temporary restraining order is being imposed, we can set up our turbo. In the context of the SWIFT project, the Family Justice Center Limburg has been experimenting with a pilot project on fast and intensive support after a temporary restraining order, a first for Belgium. The police and the public prosecutor’s office give a clear signal via the restraining order, while specialized social workers – intensive case managers immediately start working with the family and follow them up for a year. The project completely meets the high expectations. The sooner we can intervene after a crisis, the more the affected family is open to change and help.
The Limburg police services and the public prosecutor’s office have made tackling domestic violence a priority. Together they have written new guidelines that strengthen the police and judicial approach to domestic violence. For example, with every report of domestic violence, no matter how small and regardless of whether or not a crime has been committed, an official police report must be drawn up. Since January 2018, all the police inspectors of the Limburg intervention services have received training to be able to comply to these guidelines. A group of about 25 police inspectors – from the police regions Carma and Limburg Capital Region – have also received more specialised training on the topics of understanding the dynamics of domestic violence and displaying empathy. In the following months and years all Limburg police inspectors will receive this training. All these efforts translate into a 17% increase in the recorded domestic violence facts in Limburg in the 20í6-2018 period, while the rest of Flanders records a decrease of 10%. When writing the SWIFT project we had hoped for these results. Although that does not mean that the problem is increasing, but that it is becoming more visible because we register faster and better. In the SWIFT region victims have been (and are still being) offered the most appropriate and accessible range of services possible:
929 Limburg families have been offered help in a very proactive manner. More than half of these families have followed a trajectory in the FJC. The trajectory can consist of:
Creating a safety plan & action plan
Involving regular assistance services
Connecting with current processes
In 34 Limburg families a chain approach is being used.
An intensive case manager is supervising currently 38 Limburg families, after a temporary restraining order.
Bilateral initiative between the European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) and the Reykjavik Metropolitan Police
Duration: 01.09.2020 – 28.02.2021
Funding: Active Citizens Fund – Greece, EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 – Billateral Cooperation Initiatives
This bilateral initiative between the European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) and the Icelandic Police aimed to the exchange of good practices in handling domestic violence cases and protecting abused women and their children.
The Icelandic Police during the past decade has made a substantial reform and improvement of the support and protection services it provides to adult and minor victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse, in close cooperation with Support Services.
Τhe European Anti-Violence Network organized a two day cross-sectional online Working Group with representatives of Greek Organizations that are responsible for providing support and protection to victims of domestic violence (Deputy Minister of Labour & Social Affairs, Hellenic Police, General Secretary of Justice and Human Rights, Women Counceling Center, The Smile of the Child). The Icelandic Police presented the methodology and tools it uses to provide quality services to victims of domestic violence, especially women and children. The methods that Greek organizations follow were presented and the needs of the Greek reality were identified and discussed along with ways of effectively transferring the know-how to Greece; a proposal for submission was also discussed to be jointly processed under the Active Citizens Fund. The results of the working group were presented during an online press conference. Preparatory and debriefing meetings were also conducted between EAVN and Icelandic Police.
The actions were implemented from 25.1.2021 – 29.1.2021, but the collaboration continues until today.
The bilateral initiative between European Anti-Violence Network (EAVN) and the Icelandic Police was implemented in the framework of the programme Active citizens fund, with EAVN being the implementing organization and Icelandic Police being the partner organization. The Active citizens fund in Greece is supported through a € 12m grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway as part of the EEA Grants 2014 – 2021. The program aims to develop the sustainability and capacity of the civil society sector in Greece, and to strengthen its role in promoting and safeguarding democratic procedures, active citizenship and human rights. The Fund Operator for the Active citizens fund in Greece is Bodossaki Foundation in consortium with SolidarityNow. For more information: www.activecitizensfund.gr.
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