Donation for the Bergstrasse Women’s Refuge Association

Instead of sending Christmas cards, we made a donation this year to the Bergstrasse Women’s Refuge Association. The refuge celebrated its 25th anniversary in June. According to the association’s chairwoman, Christine Klein, this is thanks to courageous women from the Bergstrasse district. Back in the 1980s, the refuge had to stand up for itself against considerable resistance and prejudice that also came from the local population. This is actually rather paradoxical given the fact that every fourth woman in Germany suffers physical, psychological, and/or sexual violence by her partner. Women from middle or higher educational and social classes are also affected. Generally, the dangers and dynamics of violence within the domestic environment are often underestimated. That is, until it ends in a homicide as was the case a while ago in the Bergstrasse district. Children and young people are particularly impacted by the effects of violence in the family and are often traumatized and hindered in their development as a result. Often they internalize the perception of gender roles that they have experienced and relive these later on in their own relationships.

Protection against Violence

In the women’s refuge, women, children, and young people are treated with mutual respect. There is a wide range of psychosocial support available. This ranges from sheltered, independent accommodation, through assistance when contacting police, authorities, counseling services and so on, to parental guidance and individual development support. In this way, women and their children are helped when making a fresh start in a self-determined, violence-free life.

The Bergstrasse Women’s Refuge has been fully occupied already within a few days after opening and even today more women have to be refused than could be accepted due to lack of space. Women's work is as important as ever despite a numerous legal and social progress. The Bergstrasse Women’s Refuge has gained more and more acceptance over the years. Meanwhile the women's refuge is no longer mentioned related to family violence but related to the women's refuge. In addition to the interventive work that is followed in case of an incident, prevention is also of major concern to the association. Awareness to treat women with respect whether in the family and among friends or in the job, offer support instead of turning a blind eye in suspected cases are also important issues according to Christine Klein. The women's refuge is also the right point of contact to get tips and rules of conduct to handle everyday discrimination against women.
In addition to voluntary commitment the women's refuge is still depending on donations:

Frauenhaus Bergstrasse, Germany, verein@frauenhaus-bergstrasse.deDonations account 108 0530