Study visit to Vienna, Austria – protection and reintegration services for women victims of violence

In the period between 18th and 21st of October, 2022. the team of the National Network to End Violence against Women and Domestic Violence within the regional project for “Institutionalization of quality services for integration and rehabilitation of women victims of violence in the Western Balkans” traveld to Vienna, Austria for a study visit.

The purpose of the study visit was to learn with the system of protection and reintegration of women victims of violence that is implemented in Austria, and locally in the City of Vienna, as well as an opportunity to learn positive practices and policies that could be applied in North Macedonia in the direction of improvement of the system of protection and reintegration in our country.

During the visit, we had meetings with several institutions and women’s civil society organizations that presented part of their work regarding the financing and management of specialized services for women victims of violence. Meetings were held with the following women’s civil society organizations: Association of Austrian Autonomous Women’s Shelters (AÖF) and Women’s Helpline, European Network Against Violence (WAVE), Vienna Center for Women’s Shelters and Counseling Center, Intervention Center for Domestic Abuse (Interventionsstelle Vienna); and with the following institutions: Austrian Development Agency (ADA), Federal Office – Division for Women and Equality (Bundeskanzleramt, Referat für Frauen und Gleichstellung), Institute of Criminal Law and Criminology at the University of Vienna, Ministry of Social Affairs, Health, Care and consumer protection (Ministerium für Soziales, Gesundheit, Pflege und Verbraucherschutz), and the Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA).

From the study visit, we found that all specialized services for women victims of violence in Vienna, and throughout Austria, are managed only by women’s civil society organizations, and funding is provided by the Federal Office – Department for Women and Equality on an annual basis according to the needs of the organizations locally. In addition, the City of Vienna provides 45 individual apartments for supported housing, which as a service is managed by the Association of Austrian Autonomous Women’s Shelters (AÖF) together with 5 shelters on the territory of the city of Vienna.

The study visit was organized by the partner organizations Gender Alliance Development Center (GADC) and the Albanian Women’s Empowerment Network (AWEN) from Albania, and participants were partner organizations: Autonomous Women’s Center (AWC) from Serbia, Women’s Rights Center (WRC) from Montenegro, Kosovo Women’s Network (KWN) from Kosovo, Foundation United Women (FUW) from Bosnia and Herzegovina, and National network to End Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence from North Macedonia.

This activity is supported by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA).

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