WAVE’s mission is to enable all women and their children to live free from violence, particularly through strengthening and sustaining a European network of women’s specialized support and prevention services, experts and survivors; to share expertise and experience to prevent, challenge, address and ultimately end male violence against women and their children, through an intersectional feminist approach.
Find out more about WAVE’s structure on this page:
The WAVE Network consists of over 170 member organisations in 46 European countries.
Click on a country to learn more about our members.
The WAVE Advisory Board supports the WAVE Board in the development, implementation and evaluation of policies and activities, in order to intensify the coordination and planning for the WAVE Network, and to ensure representation from all regions. It consists of one delegate and one co-delegate (substitute) from each country. The Advisory Board further consists of academic and thematic experts nominated by the board for a certain period of time, and are international experts. During bi-annual network meetings the WAVE Advisory Board enables the WAVE Office to work closely with its members.
The WAVE Board is comprised of eight members from different countries and is elected by the General Assembly. WAVE’s Board members are responsible for overseeing the strategic direction of the organisation.
Susana started her career at the Mediterranean Institute of Gender Studies (MIGS) in 2005 and has served as Director of the Institute since 2008. In this capacity, she has coordinated and implemented transnational projects on violence against women including domestic violence, sexual violence and rape, female genital mutilation, and gender-based violence among adolescents.
Susana has also served as an expert on violence against women for European networks and organisations including the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), and the Council of Europe. She served as an expert in the EWL Observatory on Violence against women for six years and served on the Advisory Board of the WAVE Network. As a senior researcher for the European Institute for Gender Equality, she has worked specifically on administrative data collection on violence against women, gender-based violence among refugee women and, most recently, on risk assessment by police on intimate partner violence.
In Cyprus, Susana is currently President of the Advisory Committee for the Prevention and Combating of Violence in the Family, a coordinating body for the implementation of the law on domestic violence and to promote multi-agency cooperation. In her capacity as expert on violence against women and domestic violence, she has worked closely with the Cyprus Ministry of Justice on mapping the legislative framework of Cyprus and its compliance with the standards of the Council of Europe Convention on Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence, as well as in preparing a study on models and tools on risk assessment and risk management of intimate partner violence.
Currently, Veronica is the coordinator of the National Coalition ”Life without Violence” (Republic of Moldova) comprising of 22 civil society and service provider organizations responsible for running the country-wide advocacy platform on gender-based violence (since 2015). The Coalition is the only national network specialized on GBV in the Republic of Moldova for advocacy initiatives and working on building and advancing the women’s rights movement. Veronica holds a Masters degree in clinic psychology, and her thesis was titled “Gender based violence and particularities of different approaches. Feministic therapeutic approach.”
Veronica is also a lawyer, women’s human rights defender and justice sector expert, with relevant experience and understanding of working with women’s organizations, the format of donor assistance in the GBV area and its impact on women, activists and organizations. She also has extensive experience on working with different public actors, including the opposition, as well as justice sector reforms, development and implementation of relevant policy instruments. Veronica also has experience in providing technical assistance under UN agencies, the Council of Europe, the EU, and other international organization’s assignments in Moldova, Ukraine, Armenia, Kirghizstan and Turkmenistan. Furthermore, Veronica is a holder of the Diploma of Honor of the International Women Rights Training Institute (Bulgaria) and a participant of the International Advanced Training Programme on Gender-Based Violence (Sweden).
Gorica Ivić is currently Executive Director of the United Women’s Foundation from Banja Luka, a women’s non-governmental organisation that was established in 1996, in Bosnia and Herzegovina. She is a social worker by profession, previously engaged in health institutions and the Commune for women with substance abuse issues.
Her first contact with women who survived violence was in the Banja Luka Safe House, where she worked as a social worker. After that, she engaged as a coordinator in the program for preventing and combatting gender-based violence, which included monitoring of court proceedings, research, education, media campaigns and advocacy for strengthening the law and politics in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
Gorica is an author, co-author, and editor of different research and manuals in the area of gender-based violence.
Irene Zeilinger is a sociologist and feminist self-defence trainer with more than 25 years of experience in the field under her belt. She is the founder, former executive director and current international affairs officer at Garance ASBL, a Belgian feminist NGO combating gender-based violence by the means of primary prevention. Irene has taught thousands of women, girls and professionals across Europe on how to prevent violence and protect themselves from it. She is also at the forefront of feminist advocacy against violence in Belgium, has participated in the writing of the shadow report on Belgium’s failure to apply the Istanbul Convention and sits on the advisory board overseeing the implementation of the Belgian francophone action plan to combat violence against women.
At WAVE, Irene represented Belgium in the Advisory Board. She has participated in the creation of the Handbook “How Gender Neutral Policy and Practice is Dismantling Women’s Specialist Support Services and Ways to Counteract It” and is the author of “Let’s Shut Down Antifeminism: The Verbal Self-Defence Guide for Feminists.
Board member (Treasurer)
Sara Kirkpatrick has led Welsh Women’s Aid since early 2020, supporting specialist services all across Wales. Her vision is for a world where exploitation is not valourised, victimisation not responsiblised and marginalisation not criminalised.
Always using a feminist approach to challenge violence against women and girls, Sara describes herself as an Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) specialist having worked in criminal justice and community settings for over 30 years. Starting her career providing support in a women’s refuge, she has worked with a range of client groups including male victims, children impacted by domestic abuse, women remaining in abusive relationships and perpetrators of domestic abuse.
Sara’s area of specialism is work with perpetrators; recognising that if abusive behaviour is a choice, then change is also a choice. She has contributed to several frontline, innovative projects with perpetrators of IPV.
In addition to her CEO role, Sara is also a Trustee with Youth Realities, and a visiting Lecturer at Winchester University in the social work department; where she continues to enjoy the opportunity to enable practitioners to address DVA safely and effectively.
Board member (Secretary)
Selime Büyükgöze has been a volunteer at Mor Çatı Women’s Shelter Foundation since 2011, which is a feminist organization working in the field of violence against women. She is mostly involved in communication activities, writing statements and monitoring reports for national and international bodies on violence against women in Türkiye. She has also been involved in various feminist campaigns and platforms in Türkiye and the organization of the annual feminist march. She is one of the members of feminist zine Çatlak Zemin. She holds a PhD in communications and works as a university lecturer.
Tatevik Aghabekyan is the president of the Sexual Assault Crisis Center in Armenia, and a staunch advocate for women’s rights and gender equality.
Graduating with a Master’s degree in Psychology from Yerevan State University, her commitment to combating gender-based violence began in 2003. She worked tirelessly to uproot entrenched patriarchal norms and provide support to survivors of sexualized violence.
A cornerstone of Tatevik’s career has been her involvement in establishing the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women in 2010, advocating for legislative reforms and personally supporting over 700 women.
Additionally, she has facilitated extensive economic empowerment programs, helping numerous women gain financial independence, and has pioneered educational initiatives which sparked important conversations on sexualized violence and the need for sex education in Armenia.
The WAVE office is the operative headquarter that organises the network’s activities, facilitates communication between the other bodies, and oversees all operational matters.
Stephanie Futter-Orel is the Executive Director of WAVE, and has 14 years leadership experience in feminist women’s civil society organisations. She has led the WAVE network since 2017.
Her first exposure to the life-saving impact of women’s specialist services (WSS) was when volunteering in a women’s shelter in rural India aged 19, and later community empowerment projects for girls in Brazil. Stephanie dedicates her career to fighting violence against women and girls (VAWG) and has substantial expertise in directly tackling various forms of VAWG, which she developed by working 7 years+ in direct support and senior management positions in WSS in London. These encompassed services such as advice and advocacy, refuge, helplines, psychological counselling, prevention work and specialist support for women with complex needs.
As WAVE Executive Director she focuses primarily on the strategic and resource development of the network, ensuring effective international high-level advocacy about the impact of VAWG and the key role WSS play in preventing and tackling it, strengthening WAVE’s capacity to respond to its members needs and leading the WAVE team.
Stephanie holds a MA in Political Science (University of Vienna), a MSc in Development Management (London School of Economics) and speaks 5 languages (German, English, Portuguese, Spanish and French).
Anca Ciupa is the Senior Manager at WAVE, leading various European projects on combating violence against women, in cooperation with international stakeholders such as Council of Europe and UN Women.
She is also one of the four experts that contributed to development of the Council of Europe E-learning online course on ‘Violence against Women and Domestic Violence’, part of the HELP Platform (Human rights Education for Legal Professionals). Anca Ciupa is also a HELP Tutor, recently, co-tutoring the ‘Women’s access to justice course’ for legal professionals in South East Europe.
Anca has a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Law and has obtained a postgraduate diploma in International Relations at the Diplomatic Academy of Vienna.
Eliana Jimeno is a dedicated leader in peacebuilding, human rights, and strategic advocacy with over 16 years of experience. Her expertise in local development is marked by her ability to initiate impactful programs, build strong partnerships, and elevate organizational profiles. Eliana’s leadership style is defined by self-awareness and empathy, fostering active listening, innovative solution-making, and team wellbeing.
Her experience spans international organizations, national governments, and NGOs, offering a unique ‘glocal’ perspective. In Colombia, her focus on public policy, inter-agency cooperation, and institutional lobbying has been instrumental. Internationally, Eliana led a significant 3-year project to innovate in preventing violent extremism and established a network of over 1000 peacebuilders.
As the Senior Advocacy Advisor, her current role involves strategic advocacy and network-led campaigning, emphasizing partnership building. Eliana holds a B.A. in Political Science, a postgraduate diploma in Public Policy and Government, and an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution from American University. Her intersectional approach and belief in the political power of everyday actions make her a dynamic force in her field.
After her traineeship in the retail trade and several years in this area as a manager, Renate Tomenendal completed a part time training course to become a proofed and graduated balance accountant and personnel accountant. After completing this training, she switched to work as an accountant. After the birth of her son and her maternity leave, Renate resumed her employment in 2014 at WAVE, where she is the Finance Manager. Currently, she is working for the non-profit women’s rights associations AÖF and WAVE. In her very demanding job, she is responsible for accounting, personnel administration, balance sheets, budgeting and reporting. As such, her working day is not only very varied but also entertaining and fulfilling. An important balance to this is her much loved sideline as a highly and fully qualified dance instructor in Vienna and Lower Austria.
Branislava Arađan has a BA in Law Studies, and graduated from the Faculty of Law, University of Novi Sad, Serbia. She started her path as a human rights activist at the age of 16, which has led her to more than ten years of experience within different NGOs. She also runs her own NGO focused on youth rights and empowerment.
She was part of the working group for developing the local action plan for gender equality 2019/2020 for the City of Novi Sad and she participated in changing the national law regarding the abuse of psychoactive substances. So far, she performed as an educator about human trafficking, domestic violence, digital safety, human rights in general and project management topics.
Branislava has been at WAVE since November 2021 and her current role is WAVE Project and Youth Ambassador Coordinator. She also coordinates the Safeguarding and Empowering Children Project and co-coordinates internships at WAVE.
Léa Dudouet holds an MPhil in the Sociology of Reproduction from the University of Cambridge and a BSc in Sociology from the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her studies were geared towards intersecting aspects of sociology, focusing on gender, race and sexuality. Aside from academia, Léa has been involved with different feminist groups and non-profit organisations both in London as well as in Berlin.
Léa has been at WAVE since September 2020 and her current role is Project and Network Coordinator. She is on the one hand responsible for managing some of WAVE’s ongoing projects, while also coordinating network-related activities such as Advisory Board Meetings, new membership applications, and the members’ only section on the website.
Elena Floriani holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Mediation and a Master’s degree in Comparative International Relations. After study and work experiences in Italy, France, Germany, Tanzania, and Austria, she joined the WAVE Team in May 2019. In the last years, Elena made her interest in feminism and women’s rights her area of research and work. Following an experience at the Embassy of Italy in Tanzania, she decided to focus her Master’s thesis on the legal protection of women’s rights in Africa, conducting research on the recent developments of the African Union’s human rights system. Before joining WAVE in her current position, Elena worked for one of WAVE’s members, the Domestic violence intervention centre of Vienna. Elena is currently working at WAVE as Project & Research Coordinator: she is in charge of leading the production of the bi-annual WAVE Country Report, a key publication presenting the situation of women’s support services in 46 European countries, and of coordinating and implementing WAVE’s international project work.
Beverly Mtui has a Bachelor’s Degree in Transcultural Communication (German, English & French) and is currently pursuing her Master’s in Development Studies at the University of Vienna. Before she started working at WAVE as the Youth Ambassador Coordinator, she interned and volunteered for various organisations such as Austrian WAVE Member “AÖF” and “Work With Perpetrators European Network – WWP EN”. From 2018-2020, she volunteered for a local NGO in Vienna supporting women survivors of violence and human trafficking. She was head of the fundraising team and board member (treasurer) in her last year with the NGO. Since February 2021, she is the WAVE Communications Coordinator and thus responsible for ensuring and strengthening the visibility and presence of the network and its projects, on the digital sphere and beyond. Besides being passionate about intersectional feminism and gender equality, she also believes in social equality and aims to empower people of African descent through her work.
Katharina Öfner has a Bachelor’s Degree in Romance Studies (Spanish) and in Political Science and completed her Master’s Degree in International Humanitarian Action (NOHA) with a focus on Conflict and Peacebuilding. Due to her interest in gender equality and intersectional feminism, she not only focused her studies on these issues but also dedicated her time to volunteer at different NGOs and programs. After studying and working in Austria, Chile, Costa Rica, Colombia, Spain and Sweden, she joined the WAVE team in April 2022. In her role she is in charge of the WAVE office coordination, WAVE internships coordination and supporting with planning WAVE events. She also assists to the WAVE Board and provides support to the Executive Director and Senior Manager in HR matters.
Amina Reiss holds a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural and Social Anthropology and is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in International Development with a focus on intersectional global gender inequalities. In her master thesis she is analysing the exploitation of women and their bodies in the global reproductive industry. Next to her studies she gathered two years of working experience in the field of international conference organising and event management. In March 2023 she joined the WAVE team as Event Coordinator. In her role she is responsible for planning and organising WAVE events, such as online trainings, and webinars as well as on site events like the annual WAVE Conference.
Susanne Wunderer holds a masters degree in commercial sciences. Coming from one of the more traditional parts in Austria where women are expected to stick to their traditional roles, she has been a feminist ever since. But it was not until she become a mother herself, that she understood how far away from gender equality the society still is. So she started advocating for women’s rights. She has a lot of experience in politics on all levels, built up a feminist NGO herself and specialised on violence against women in the context of family lawsuits.
Rüya Langenberger has successfully completed her studies at the Business Academy in Vienna, Austria, and collaborated with two classmates on a thesis exploring patriarchal structures and capitalism. With her background in accounting, she has gained experience as a bookkeeping assistant and junior accountant in two different companies. Seeking a career that aligns with her values, ideas, education and experience, Rüya has found her way to WAVE. With a passion for combining her skills in finance with her personal beliefs, she is excited to contribute to a workplace that resonates with her values.
Julia Zasada is currently finishing The European Master’s Programme in Human Rights and Democratisation at the Global Campus of Human Rights. In 2020, after the introduction of the abortion ban in Poland, she understood the urgent need to combat violence against women and decided to dedicate her professional career to this cause. Julia completed her first internship at the International Planned Parenthood Federation. As a part of the Movement Accelerator Team, she co-organised a series of workshops on tackling anti-gender movements that gathered NGOs and member organisations from Europe and beyond. She also supported the team in developing and distributing learning materials on reproductive care, LGBTQ rights, and safe activism. In February 2024, Julia joined the WAVE team to support with various activities ranging from communications to campaigning with the aim to build her expertise on women’s rights and channel it into the academic field.