Creative support for victims of domestic violence
An innovative creative project in the Czech Republic has been using a therapeutic theatre workshop to help homeless women who have been victims of domestic violence.
In the Czech Republic, a number of studies show that women who are at risk of social exclusion are more likely to become a victim of violence, whether at the hand of their partner or by a stranger. Both of these situations are mutually reinforcing, as women who have a violent partner are more likely to become homeless. At the same time, women who are already homeless or living in shelters or hostels are often exposed to violence.
Initiated by the non-profit organisation ‘Jako doma – Homelike’, and financed by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the Czech NGO programme, the project addresses violence against women in the context of poverty. Activities included motivational courses to improve creative and communication skills. One of the more original aspects of the project was a series of therapeutic theatre workshops, which culminated in documentary theatre show called ‘Those Women’ on the theme of violence against women.
Directed by Kateřina Jungová, the Prague-based Studio Alta played host to the show in which seven homeless women shared their stories in a truly unique performance. Despite the constant undercurrent of violence, loss, grief and fear, the stories also offer glimpses of hope for a better tomorrow, pride, humour, and a strong will to survive.
Photo credit: NROS
Icelandic organisation, ‘Samtok um kvennaathvarf’, which runs a shelter for women who have experienced domestic violence, was a partner in the project. It has much experience in coordinating support groups and leadership awareness campaigns aimed at both women and men.
Photo credit: NROS
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Type of Institution:
Public benefit organization / Tax-exempt organization
The project addresses the issues of gender, poverty, and violence. Women in a difficult social situation are more likely to be targets of violence, women with violent partners are more likely to end up homeless. The main objectives are to reduce violence on women by awareness-raising and prevention, and to support violence survivors. The project targets both survivors of violence and aggressors, as well as NGO workers, and the public. Groups of women – (potential) victims of violence will be empowered by activities designed for coping with their experience (theatre group, therapeutic-activist camp). The young public will learn about gender stereotypes related to violence and prevention of violence (discussions). The aggressors will be provided with self-diagnostic tools and where they can turn for help (campaign: posters, leaflets, video). The project will develop know-how of Homelike as well as other relevant NGOs (workshop) thanks to its partner, Samtok um kvennaathvarf from Iceland.