Supporting women in domestic violence situations in Denmark

Oak Foundation Denmark

10 October 2019

A recent report found that 38,000 women are physically abused by their partners each year in Denmark. Response-based practice is helping these women think of themselves as survivors, rather than victims. Oak Foundation Denmark strengthens the capacity of crisis centres in the country to support both women and men in situations of domestic violence.

LOKK, the National Organisation of Women’s Shelters in Denmark, brings together shelters to accomplish more than one shelter can on its own. LOKK organises conferences, arranges training and brings together groups to develop policies and practices to provide the best possible support to women subjected to violence. “To really combat violence against women, we need to look at the root of the problem,” says Trine Lund-Jensen, CEO of LOKK.

“By understanding why men violate women, it is possible to help men stop this behaviour through psychological support.”

– Trine Lund-Jensen, CEO of LOKK

One of the shelters LOKK works with is the Danish Women’s Society Shelter, a shelter that houses women and their children who are escaping situations of domestic violence. Hannah Hassan, a social worker, explains that women come to the shelter with a lot of shame and guilt and that often these women blame themselves for the violence they have faced. However, the Danish Women’s Society Shelter uses response-based practice to help women regain their dignity by pointing out where they have shown resilience. By showing women how strong they truly are, the psychological consequences of relationship violence can be mitigated.

“We think it’s very important to give a woman her dignity and respect back, because in light of her experience with a violent partner, she’s been brought down. We work to build her back up.”

– Susanne Holm-Larsen, shelter manager at Danish Women’s Society

Oak Foundation Denmark partners with foundations and organisations that have a direct impact on people’s lives. We believe that we can achieve social change by supporting broad, professional, holistic and innovative approaches that tackle issues at the root. To this end, most of our grant-making includes support for strategies and approaches that address challenges at the community level.

Reference: Report: immigrant women in Denmark particularly vulnerable to partner violence

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