Women’s counseling centers provide women who are subjected to violence with the different forms of support they may need while fighting against this violence. They are the first point of contact where women can have access to free social, legal and psychological support during the process of struggling against violence, where they can share their experiences without being judged, can receive information about their legal rights and the ways of combating violence against women. Volunteer and professional women from different professions may work in the Women’s Counseling Center. It is important to hold a feminist perspective and to apply the feminist principles while carrying out the activities.
In the women’s counseling center within the Foundation for Women’s Solidarity, we provide the social, legal and psychological support that women who are subjected to violence may need while fighting this violence on the basis of “solidarity”, not “charity”, and free of charge. The women who work in our center have sensitivity and awareness of women’s issues and give priority to the fight against violence against women, and we aspire to offer support in an environment where the applicants will feel comfortable and safe in a relationship of solidarity.
Social Support: It is the process carried out at the women’s counselling center by social workers and the volunteer women from the Foundation. It consists of: making the first interviews with the women who apply to the women’s counseling center seeking support due to violence, listening to the narrative about the violence they are subjected to – based on women’s statements, conducting risk and needs analysis, sharing information on how existing mechanisms and legal rights can be used to move away from violence, planning together with women, by evaluating alternatives in line with their needs and wishes – and without making decisions on behalf of them, making the necessary referrals and following up the process after the referrals.
Legal Support: This support includes sharing legal information according to the needs of the counselee, informing about the mechanisms for combating violence against women and legal rights, and referring them to the relevant institutions. Volunteer lawyers of the Foundation for Women’s Solidarity do not undertake to represent the counselee at the hearings, unless otherwise agreed by the management of the Foundation.
Psychological Support: Psychological support is provided to women who are subjected to violence with the purpose of reducing the effects of trauma caused by this violence, balancing women’s emotional states, enabling them to make decisions about their own lives and in order to grow stronger together.