Huge collaborative project to improve the operations of women’s shelters

Huge collaborative project to improve the operations of women’s shelters

Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation

The project will support the 25 women’s organizations that form the 2016 19th Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers Convention. It will also increase the sharing of best practices between independent women’s organizations working in the field of violence against women in Turkey and in Europe. It strives to strengthen the communication between shelters and counseling centers to elevate the awareness of the central government and local administrations of violence against women, and to ensure long-term, qualified, and integrated support for women and children exposed to violence. 

Many events were held as part of the program, including the 18th and 19th Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers Conventions and 18th and 19th Interim Assemblies, involving women’s organizations, local governments, and public institutions working in violence against women in Turkey; workshops for psychologists, social workers, and volunteers in women’s organizations; and an international conference titled “Politics of Women’s Shelters, Solidarity Centers, and Solidarity against Male Violence Throughout 2010s: Sharing Experiences from Turkey and Europe.” The website www.siginaksizbirdunya.org was launched to show the work of the group and its members. In a number of provinces, meetings about violence against women were held with local governments, regional centers for family and social policy, Violence Monitoring and Prevention Centers (ŞÖNİM), police departments, and public institutions. The Monitoring Report on Mechanisms for Combating Violence Against Men in Turkey was published and distributed. The 18th Women Against Violence (WAVE) Conference in Berlin was attended and field visits held. A “Best Practices Guide” will be prepared with information from the Berlin meetings and visits to women’s organizations, counseling centers, and shelters dealing with violence against women in Sweden and Austria. The guide will be published and distributed to relevant institutions in Turkey. An information booklet on how shelters and advisory centers should be set up will be printed and distributed. A workshop for lawyers will be organized in Ankara. An e-book and short video of the International Conference will be prepared and distributed. Meetings will be held with the Ministry of Family and Social Policy, the General Directorate on the Status of Women (KSGM), the Parliamentary Commission on Equal Opportunities for Women and Men (KEFEK), and municipal governments. 

The financial backing of the “Think Civilian EU Program” has secured the continuity of the employment of the experienced staff carrying out the work. These congresses are the most comprehensive gatherings in Turkey, having organized Shelter Conventions for 19 years and the two-year financing of the interim events. They facilitate the participation of women’s organizations, municipalities, and public institutions at the highest level. The 25 women’s organizations at the convention, including Mor Çatı, ensure support for volunteers, social workers, psychologists, and lawyers, enabling women and children subjected to violence to receive continuous and qualified support. The guide for best practices in Europe and Turkey will also contribute significantly to the project, guiding people and institutions that provide shelter and advisory services.

Project events and research to date:

18. Interim General Assembly of Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers, April 25-27, 2015, Muş 
Volunteer Workshop, May 30-31, 2015, Istanbul 

18. General Assembly of Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers, November 14-16, 2015, Muş 
Volunteer Workshop, December 5-6, 2015, Istanbul 

International Conference: Politics of Women’s Shelters, Solidarity Centers, and Solidarity against Male Violence throughout 2010s: Sharing Experiences from Turkey and Europe, February 26-27, 2016, Istanbul 

Consultation Center and Shelter Social Workers Sharing and Evaluation Workshop, May 14-15, 2016, Muş 

19. Interim General Assembly of Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers, May 28-30, 2016, Bodrum 

Knowledge and Experience Sharing Workshop for Psychologists Working in Public Institutions and Solidarity Centers, October 1-2, 2016, Istanbul 

19. General Assembly of Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers, October 14-17, 2016, Adana 

18. Attendance and field visit to the WAVE Conference, October 19-21, 2016, Berlin

Volunteer Workshop on Elements of the Constitution, November 5-6, 2016, Istanbul 

Visits to municipalities and public institutions, 2015-2016

Future activities:

Workshop on knowledge and experience-sharing for lawyers, Ankara 

Meetings with KSGM, KEFEK, and municipal governments 

Visits to women’s organizations, counseling centers, and shelters in the field of violence against women in Sweden and Austria

Books and leaflets published related to the project

The Monitoring Report on Mechanisms for Combating Violence Against Men in Turkey, March 2016 

Guide to Best Practices in Combating Violence Against Women 

What should shelters and consultation centers be like? Information booklet 

“Politics of Women’s Shelters, Solidarity Centers, and Solidarity against Male Violence throughout 2010s: Sharing Experiences from Turkey and Europe” e-book 

“Strengthening Women’s Shelters and Consultation Centers Convention and Sharing Best Practices on Combating Domestic Violence Among Women’s Organizations in Europe and Turkey” project 

Project Partners: Muş Women’s Association, Women’s Solidarity Foundation (Ankara)

Project Duration: January 2015 – April 2017, 28 months

Activity locations: Turkey, Sweden, Austria