The Interkulturelle Initiative's philosophy
Violence against women is a sad reality in our society and not uncommon phenomenon It takes place both in the privacy of relationships and in public and is indirectly perpetuated by the structure of society in which sexual inequality is a fact.
The Interkulturelle Frauenhaus fights domestic violence by supporting abused women and their children. To protect and empower the women in need we provide:
- shelter and protection for women and their children threatened by violence
- specialist help which considers the specific situation of abused immigrant women and their children
- immediate, uncomplicated assistance, long term advice and help in finding financial support
- public relations work
Siding with the women in need means:
- treating each story individually, but taking into account the fact that violence is a result of an unequal society which perpetuates it.
- Empowering women to act independently and make their own decisions based on their available options. Creating a supportive atmosphere among the shelter residents.
- Help in dealing with theauthorities.
- Being receptive for the situation of the girls and boys residing in our institution and actively looking after their interests. These children witnessed violence against their mothers at home or were affected by abuse themselves. Children are dependent on adult persons, being either their parents or legal guardians, therefore in a shelter they need extra care and an extra room to tackle their experiences.
- Being receptive for hierarchies and dissensions among the residents and taking them up for discussions.
- Facilitating a communication free of violence by making women aware how violent structures work and demonstrating how conflicts can be overcome without violence and how limits can be set.
- Disseminating information about discrimination to the community and fighting against discrimination by specific activities.
The help and advice immigrant women and their children are given should take into account the fact that the women's situation is affected by the structures of an unequal society. The shelter should make access possible for women with specific problems (f.i. substance abusers) if their needs can be met by the services provided.
The target group of our crosscultural work are immigrant women and their children. Both our concept and our everyday work are aware of the women's individual situations and of the living conditions in unequal society. Crosscultural counselling means not to employ a Western view of women's empowerment but focusing on the individual case and offering a wide range of options for the women in need. Our crosscultural approach applies to both residents and staff, irrrespective of the person's nationality or status. We do not employ one and the same approach to every woman. Our counselling shows awareness for the individual status, values and situation of every woman in need.