Inspiring Thursday: WAVE Network

WAVE stands for Women against Violence Europe and is a network of European women’s NGOs and other organizations working in the field of combating violence against women and children. Established in 1994, WAVE is a network organization composed of 160 women’s organizations in 46 European countries. WAVE’s central task is to raise awareness of all forms of violence against women, promote the work of women’s NGOs and empower their work wherever possible. The main activities of WAVE are advocacy, capacity building, exchange of information, research and networking.

Since 2019, the Thankful Thursday blog column has been dedicated to covering women who have not only been forgotten by the history books but also women who are shaping the present and the future. We now want to expand this series and additionally highlight the work of our members from across Europe who are working tirelessly to also shaping a feminist present and future by tackling violence against women and girls.

“To effectively prevent and tackle male violence against women it is vital that both policies and legislation clearly acknowledge that violence against women is a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women.”

Since its formalization process in 2014, the WAVE Network has welcomed over 100 European NGOs working in the field of combating violence against women and children, and currently has 160 member organisations in 46 European countries. Our WAVE Members serve as a source of information about violence against women and children in their respective countries, facilitating the exchange of ideas and dissemination of information throughout Europe. Many members participate in WAVE activities and projects, including the annual WAVE Conference, by serving as expert sources of primary information for their countries in the field of violence against women.

“Women’s specialist support services have been playing a pivotal part in ensuring the prevention and effective addressing of male violence against women for decades.”

The WAVE Network thus aims to empower women’s organizations that also fight for women’s rights and especially organizations that directly provide services to women survivors of violence. It is WAVE’s position that women specific services focusing on the empowerment of women and using a gender specific approach are best suited to bring women survivors of violence and their children out of violent situations. For this reason, WAVE works to lobby state governments as well as relevant bodies on the Council of Europe and European Union level to ensure focus on the sustainability of women’s specialist support services for women survivors of violence and their children to receive quality services.

Undoubtedly, our WAVE Members strengthen feminist movements across Europe, which is why we consider it to be crucial to shed more light on their work.

“Women’s specialist support services provide a multitude of services, which are provided on a confidential and free of charge basis in one location, including but not limited to: safe accommodation, legal advice, practical advice, advocacy when engaging with law enforcement, the judiciary and other statutory services, short and long-term psychological counselling, medical support and forensic evidence collection, outreach services, telephone helplines, specialist support for children as witnesses or victims of domestic violence and other forms of violence against women. Crucially women’s specialist support services ensure effective support of all women, including those from minoritised groups such as undocumented women, women from ethnic minority groups, LBT women, disabled women, who are often excluded or insufficiently served by general support services.”

WAVE is the only network dedicated solely to working towards the elimination of all forms of violence against women and girls, which is why we aim to ensure and increase the visibility of our dedicated WAVE Members.

Our last Inspiring Thursday: Irene Montero

The WAVE Network on social media:

Women Against Violence Europe (@womenagainstviolenceeurope) • Instagram photos and videos

WAVE Network | Facebook

WAVE Network (@WAVE_europe) / Twitter

More on the WAVE Website:

Main Page – WAVE Network WAVE Network (

WAVE Network – WAVE Network WAVE Network (

FAQ – WAVE Network WAVE Network (

WAVE Statement on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary of the Istanbul Convention, 11th May 2021 – WAVE Network WAVE Network (