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Help for abuse victims

Is your ex-husband, husband, partner abusing you? Are you or your children experiencing domestic violence?

Vienna’s four women’s refuges offer you and your children protection, assistance and temporary accommodation. Your nationality, religion or income is irrelevant.

24-hour emergency line
To reach us round the clock call the following number below: 05 77 22

If you are experiencing domestic violence or if you are being threatened by domestic violence but don’t require accommodation:

Call the following phone number 01/512 38 39, our council centre (Beratungsstelle) offers advice and assistance in German, English and Turkish.

Women abused by their husbands, partners or boyfriends are not an exception! One out of five women experiences violence through her partner!

What is domestic violence

The abuser uses physical or psychological abuse to exert power and control over women and children as a means to achieve self-interest. The abuser can use several forms of abuse:

Physical violence

Pushing, shoving, slapping, kicking, punching, hitting, strangling, scratching, burning, pulling hair out, locking in, stabbing, hitting the victim with various objects even causing injury ending in manslaughter, murder.
Abusers often destroy furniture for example or other things, which are of personal value to you, besides using physical violence.

Sexual abuse

Molestation, harassment, badgering, imposition;
Using force, threats or intimidation to make you perform sexual acts (vaginal, oral or anal sex). Force, threaten or intimidate you into pornographic acting. The abuser may make you strip, make you watch pornos, perform sexual acts with other people.

Rape

Every sexual act you do not perform of you own will or are threatened into doing is abuse.
Sexual abuse and harassment is wrong and a crime whether you are married or not!

Psychological abuse

Verbal abuse, name calling, shouting, humiliating, mocking, destructive criticism. Not listening or responding when you talk. Insulting you because of the way you look, .... your appearance or the way you behave, ridicule you in front of friends, family or other people, and humiliate you, stating you are stupid and disturbed.

Verbally threatening, prohibiting things, terrorising you through continuous telephone calls, sending threatening mail, denying you sleep, threatening to harm the children, your family and friends, torturing your pets, destroying things that are valuable to you. Threatening to kill you or threatening to commit suicide...

Social abuse

Preventing you from contacting relatives, meeting friends, and going out.
Deciding when and where you can meet other people, blocking the use of the phone, listening in to the conversation while you are speaking on the phone, spying, following you...

Economic abuse

Taking away money or valuables or selling them, stealing, determining the amount of money you spend, determining what should be bought, prohibiting you to have your own account, sending you to work and taking your income away from you, prohibiting you to work or forcing you to give notice thus preventing you from having an income of your own ...

Domestic violence can take many forms among these are various strategies abusers use e.g. expressing their love after abuse, "conciliatory love making", threatening to commit suicide, promises to change his ways, appealing to your conscience. Making you feel sorry for him or emotional blackmail, sulking.
Through these tactics it is very difficult to recognize harm caused by abuse and thus draw one's conclusions accordingly.

Remember: you are never to blame for the abuse! Don’t ever believe you "earned" abuse or caused the abuse. Don’t be ashamed of the violence you have experienced and don’t be silent about the violence your partner has caused you.
He alone is responsible for his actions!

Certain steps you can take to ensure your safety

Further informations can be found under menu item "safety strategy".

Safety strategy

What we can do for you

In Refuge workers with different mother tongues form a team in our refuges. You may speak openly about the violence you have experienced or been threatened by.

Workers offer confidential assistance and advice in your interest in the following:

  • Forming a safety strategy
  • Clarifying your situation
  • Accompaniment to various institutions and courts (reporting assault, divorce, child custody etc.)
  • Breaking up the relationship with your abusive husband
  • Problems and questions in connection with your children
  • Success in accomplishing your rights

Living in a refuge

Living in a refuge means living temporarily under one roof with other women and children. These women and children have experienced a similar situation in life like you. Here you have the possibility to think about your future in peace and quiet, without being under pressure. It is up to you whether you decide to make a report to the police; it is up to you whether you want to separate from your husband or whether you want to take legal measures against anyone. The shelter’s workers will support you in your final decision.

  • Women’s refuges can be reached around the clock and offer specific protection
  • refuges’ addresses are confidential
  • Men are not allowed in the refuge
  • You live independently in the shelter and are responsible for yourself and your children.
  • If you don’t have an income, costs of staying in the shelter are negotiable

You will not lose custody of the children, or the right to your flat or your mutual property should you leave your husband due to abuse!

What you should take to the refuge

  • Your documents and the documents of your children. You will need them with all official contacts
  • Clothes, medicine, school things for the children, your child’s favourite small toys
  • Keys to your home
  • Personal items you value

We can support you in acquiring the most important items after you have come to the refuge, should you be unable to take any of the above from your home.

You have a right to integrity, freedom and safety!
Give us a call!