“More than a roof over your head” (2002)

The present survey focuses on those eleven minimum standards for women’s shelters which were defined by a group of experts at the Cologne conference in March 1999. Our principal concern was to ascertain whether the women’s shelters in the EU and candidate countries already complied with these standards. Both the recommendations of the EU conferences and the principles of the WAVE Network are founded upon a feminist perception of violence against women and of preventive action. The raw data were obtained by means of a questionnaire which was sent first and foremost to WAVE’s national network partners, the Focal Points.* For the most part these Focal Points are national shelter networks or organisations with extensive experience in the field of prevention. Where such organisations do not exist, it proved difficult and in some cases impossible to obtain answers to the questionnaire. The results outlined in the present publication are, however, based exclusively on the data provided by means of the questionnaire. The presentation of the results (pages 12-33) invariably relates to all the shelters in a given country, which means that that country may be rated as only partially complying although some of its shelters may fully comply with the standards. In some instances we were able to compile information only on a single shelter or a small number of shelters. Apart from presenting the results of our survey, we also set out to give a concise account of the important role played by shelters in preventing violence against women, of the principles upon which their work is based, and why – almost thirty years after the founding of the first feminist women’s shelter – they remain indispensable facilities for protecting women – providing more than just a roof over their heads.

Download the 2002 survey HERE.