Read about a presentation at the conference

Published: Jul 28 2015

Women’s advocacy organisations and women’s shelters join forces to empower survivors to become economically independent

Economic independence of women survivors will be an important topic at the 3WCWS. One of the parallel sessions will report on experiences gained during a Dutch project called ‘The New Future Project’. We will give present a summary of what you can expect.

Women who survive domestic violence often have a long road ahead of them before they can resume their lives and start earning their own living again. The project team developed a method known as The New Future to help women in this situation. A pilot project in the Dutch province of Overijssel has had good results: more than half of the participants are now leading independent lives again.  

One of the participants describes her experience: “This project does not consider the past but focuses more on the future. What are our capabilities and how can we put them to use? Considering everyone’s past, I was surprised by the strength and will power of the women concerned. From my own experience I can confirm that my past has made me stronger. I want to take my fate into my own hands. The project meets this aspiration. You learn how to focus on what you want to achieve and what you are able to achieve, and you develop an action plan so you can visualise your future. Having my own future is something I have dreamed about for years.”

A follow-up project co-funded by the Ministry of Education and eight municipalities, now underway, involves a unique collaboration between the Dutch Women’s Council (a platform of women’s organisations) and the Federation of Shelters (the umbrella organisation for women's and social service shelter organisations). The presentation will describe the methods used and the experiences and lessons learned. The project director and regional coordinators will discuss the potential of the project with the participants of the session.  

There will also be other workshops on this topic at the conference.

 

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