Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is a form of violence against women which is widespread in Europe and severely affects women’s human rights. Almost one in four women experience physical and/or sexual violence in a relationship with a man. Violence is rooted in the unbalanced power relations between women and men, and it is both a cause and consequence of gender inequality and discrimination, which prevent women from equally accessing political, social, cultural, and economic resources and opportunities. The lack of economic independence prevents women from leaving a violent partner and ensuring sustainable alternatives for themselves and their children. Anti-Violence Centres (AVCs) across Europe recognize that women often remain in violent relationships because of their financial dependence on the violent partner. This issue is coupled with the fact that women are considerably underrepresented in the labour market and in decision making positions, with the overall female employment rate still being lower than that of men.
Between 2015 and 2017, the European Union funded the WE GO! (Women Economic independence & Growth Opportunity) project to strengthen the activities provided by AVCs to economically empower women experiencing or who experienced IPV. The project built on the know-how and promising practices developed by European AVCs to be valued, exchanged and systematized in order to share and strengthen them throughout Europe. The Training Toolkit was the main output of the WE GO! project resulting from thorough exchanges and testing process carried out by practitioners and experts of both partner and external organisations with a common goal: to provide AVCs operators with methodologies and tools to support the personal and economic empowerment of women they assist in their daily work.
The second edition of WE GO! (2018-2020) takes a further step up, aiming to support the economic empowerment of women who survived violence by strengthening the local and national support systems, exchanging European good practices and establishing cooperation networks between private and public stakeholders. In this framework, the Training Toolkit has been revised to include the learning of its further implementation. This edition of the WE GO! Training Toolkit has been restructured and enriched to be a user-friendly tool and a living document complemented by the readings uploaded in the project website’s repository for further insights.
The project partners believe that this product can serve multi-purposes: to provide AVCs operators with new and much needed working tools to aptly perform their job; to support women in achieving their economic independence to break free from IPV; and to urge policy makers and all concerned actors to fully ensure that economic empowerment is embedded in all policies and interventions they design and implement to prevent gender-based violence and to provide support to women experiencing IPV. In order to transform these goals into concrete actions, the WE GO! Toolkit needs to widely circulate and be adopted, also with the support of its readers.
WE GO! TOOLKIT
What it is
It is a training toolkit to build or improve the practitioners’ know-how and skills for supporting women in an effort to increase their social and economic empowerment with the goal of becoming self-sufficient in order to live a life free from intimate partner violence. The toolkit provides methodologies and tools that can be adopted or embedded in existing working practices, enhancing their effectiveness with no additional burden.
Whom it is for
The toolkit is primarily intended for practitioners working in anti-violence centres and assisting women affected by intimate partner violence, namely social workers, psychologists, counsellors, job counsellors, and other professionals working directly with IPV survivors.
How it is organised
The toolkit comprises five modules that provide step-by-step guidance from the selection of trainees to the building of the trainees’ team, the empowerment process, and the training evaluation. It covers different stages of the women’s social and economic empowerment by offering a comprehensive set of activities and tools both for group and individual sessions. The trainers can customise the training by combining the sessions and the tools according to the needs of both the individual trainees and of the group. However, Session 3.1 “From resources to competences” must be delivered according to the order listed in the Table of contents, since the activities are designed for a specific learning process.