Step 2: Covering basic needs

To have a new start in life and to envision their future, women should cover basic needs and know their rights. They need to know there are specialised social services to welcome them and their children. The challenges are to guarantee the security of women, their privacy and anonymity, and to offer a caring and understanding environment.

ACTIV project aims to sensitise field workers and companies, so they can understand particular experiences, always putting the women at the centre. Every case of domestic violence brings its own particularities and the environment should be flexible, caring and sympathetic.

Objectives

In order to enable women to project themselves into the future and envisage their socio-professional (re)integration, basic needs must be taken into account from the beginning of the process:

  • Emotional recovery,
  • Learn to be independent,
  • Access to housing,Secure the children,
  • Solve mobility issues,
  • Know and activate social rights/aids,
  • Access to protection order,
  • Access to legal representation,
  • To be accompanied in legal or administrative procedures.

Challenges for the field workers

Field workers who work with women facing domestic violence must be specially trained to provide holistic assistance to women and their children. They must be able to properly assess the risks women face, know the legislation, the services available and communicate openly and honestly with them. Most field workers who assist women facing domestic violence have previous experience in social work.

They need to develop know-how-to-be skills:

  • Show tolerance,
  • Know how to listen,
  • Be empathic and caring,
  • Be flexible,
  • Respect anonymity if requested and manage professional confidentiality,
  • guarantee the protection of women.

They also need to develop know-how skills:

  • Know the local ecosystem,
  • Define a contact person who acts as a link between the different stakeholders,
  • Define a trusted person (as a mentor) to communicate with and/or who can discreetly keep
    important documents,
  • Consider women facing domestic violence through their resources, and value women’s
    knowledge and skills,
  • Benefit from information to orient women facing domestic violence.
Most of the women want to work again. Then there are many who also put aside their emotions, so they cut themselves off from all emotion, they can pretend. But going back to work is a whole process, its childcare, etc.

Social worker

Resources for the field workers

How do I act when faced with a victim of domestic violence? Guide for field workers

This brochure gives action keys to address and act correctly when a field worker is faced with a victim of violence.

Available here.

Who to refer a victim of domestic violence to? List of relevant associations and structures

If you are confronted with a victim of domestic violence, this list allows you to know which
specialist structures to refer them to.

France

Belgium

Spain

Roumania

Challenges for companies

In order to cover basic needs, companies need to be able to recognise domestic violence and know the cycle of violence and the impact of this violence on their employees. These elements are the first key to knowing how to recognise a woman facing domestic violence, how to talk to her and how to act.

Beyond recognising domestic violence and its impact, it is also essential for companies to provide a safe space where women feel secure and free to talk about the violence they experience. Having a safe workplace allows women facing violence to feel better in the workplace, to have a place of
“escape”, and to be able to talk about it if they wish, but also contributes to their empowerment, increasing their self-confidence and self-esteem.

A professional qualification / job stability is important to get out of the cycle of violence because it can increase the self-esteem of the abused
person, it can increase the perspective on a normal life, and it can at some point communicate the situation confidence at work, to guide her to specialised help or even to help her get out of this situation.

A woman confronted with DV

Resources for the field workers

Domestic violence does not stop at the house door

This booklet provides information on how to recognise domestic violence and how it manifests itself in the working environment, how to welcome the voices of victims and, above all, which services to refer them to.

Available here.

How to become a safe place?

This tool provides the essential keys to establishing a safe place for women who are facing domestic violence.

Available here.

List of companies already involved in the fight against domestic violence

Find a company in your country that is already sensitive to the issue of domestic violence and its impact on the workplace.

France

Belgium

Spain

Roumania