Technical assistance on women's shelters for combatting domestic violence

CLIENT: European Commission
PROJECT DURATION: 27.01.2014 – 31.12.2016
OVERALL PROJECT VALUE: 6,601,000.00 €   


Domestic violence against women continues to  present a particularly serious social problem in Turkey. The various statistical data on this topic show a reluctance to report domestic violence, which is in part a consequence of social and cultural norms that continue to influence women’s rights and equality in the domestic sphere, especially because until late 2012 these forms of violence were not sanctioned in any way. The need to alter negative attitudes towards women was emphasized in the EU Progress Report for Turkey, which stated that “Women’s negative portrayal in the media and a male-dominated discourse continued to be a concern. The government needs to proactively promote changes in stereotypes and in the perception of gender roles in all spheres.”

In order to be most effective, the response to domestic violence against women should be integrated, wide-ranging and inter-institutional, at the same time offering both support and protection to victims, and seeking to alter attitudes and mentalities that allow the violence to occur. In terms of protection and support services, one of the most important elements of this general response lies in the provision fully operating women’s shelters and services. A women’s shelter provides safe accommodation in which women who have been subjected to domestic violence and their children can live without fear of being abused.  The guiding principle of working with abused women is a strong commitment to advocate women’s rights and empowerment of women to live an independent and dignified life.


The overall objective of the project was to contribute to the Turkish Government’s efforts for the protection of women’s rights in Turkey. More specifically it aimed at ensuring that women are provided with sufficient protection against violence in 26 provinces.

At the end of the Project it was expected to achieve:

  • Increased protection against violence in 26 provinces through establishing and /or providing support services for women subjected to violence/ domestic violence.
  • Enhanced collaboration of central and local governing bodies and local NGOs for improved mechanisms to combat violence against women in 26 provinces.

The project was important for the development of expansive and local services as a follow-up of the 2006 'Shelters for women subject to violence' project (PANFA2006). Within the scope of this project, which has been considered as the 2nd phase, various management structures of 8 shelters built under the 1st phase have been developed, and the local bodies and CSOs structures have been supported technically to raise their capacity to establish and manage these services.

Type of Services Provided

Component I:  Increased protection against violence in 26 provinces

  • Developing provincial actions plans for each province following the situation analysis and training needs assessments;
  • Supporting establishment of women’s counselling centres and effective use of hotlines in the project provinces;
  • Improving quality of the preventive/protective services through training of the service providers and establishing a supervision  mechanism;
  • Giving support to establishing and/or strengthening the city coordination & monitoring mechanisms regarding combating VAW;
  • Contributing to establishing and strengthening of shelters, pre-shelters, VPMCs and post-shelter support mechanisms;
  • Developing a communication strategy;
  • Organising Study tours to EU member states and other provinces in Turkey

Component II:  Enhanced collaboration of central and local governing bodies and local NGOs

  • Organise Expert Committee meetings to develop a draft supervisory mechanism model for municipalities and other local administrations and local NGOs;
  • Establishing an administrative support and supervision mechanism at national level for all local authorities and local women NGOs;
  • Conducting regional meetings to introduce the national level support mechanisms to the rest of the municipalities;
  • Technical assistance and support to the implementation of a grant scheme aiming at developing capacities of local NGOs and provision of services for victims of VAW by local NGOs; (the budget of the Grant Scheme is not included in the budget of the present project);

Development of an Exit Strategy for future sustainability of shelters and other support mechanisms developed (incl. those provided by local NGOs) in the project provinces.  

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