Projektvorstellung Women Against Violence (WAV) Nazareth, Israel

Das Projekt Women Against Violence beschäftigt sich in erster Linie mit geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt. Frauen haben in der arabischen Gesellschaft nach wie vor nur eine untergeordnete Rolle, was sich in erster Linie in häuslicher Gewalt äußert. Auch wenn dieses Projekt vordergründig nichts mit dem eigentlichen Dossierthema zu tun hat, so zeigt es doch einen gemeinsamen Ansatzpunkt für die Arbeit in einer Gesellschaft, die von unterschiedlichen Kulturkreisen geprägt ist. Die Arbeit des Vereins spiegelt die Widersprüche der israelischen Gesellschaft und sieht sich als ein Teil der Organisationen, die weltweit gegen die Diskriminierung von Frauen und die Gewalt gegen sie arbeiten.

Who We Are

Women Against Violence (WAV) is an organization based in Nazareth, Israel, dedicated to helping Arab women in Israel who are victims of gender-based violence. WAV was founded in 1992 by a group of Arab female professionals and has become one of the largest Arab non-profit organizations in Israel.

Who We Help

Research undertaken in 1998 revealed that 25% of Palestinian women were physically abused once a year. One out of every 200 is abused once a week. When WAV was founded, there were few services that abused Arab women could turn to in order to help them cope and recover from the violence. The services that did exist did not speak Arabic nor did they understand the cultural environment of Arab women. Thus, Arab women did not feel comfortable seeking help nor did they believe that it was even possible that services could exist for them.

Our Philosophy

Like many other organizations dealing with violence against women, WAV bases its work on the principle that violence against women is connected to the status of women in society. In other words, how a society may view women as subordinate human beings can lead certain individuals within that society to believe that treating women violently is appropriate. Such negative views of women exist in many societies in Europe, the Americas, Asia, and Africa. In a poll conducted within the Palestinian community, 56.9% responded that under certain conditions violence against women is justifiable; 44% believed that under certain circumstances, beatings could even occasionally be beneficial to women.

What We Do

Thus, WAV works to change this negative view of women within Arab society in Israel as well as offer services to help abused and battered women cope and recover. In order to change the social status of women, WAV partners with other organizations to educate and inform the community and to change laws that take away women’s rights within the family. WAV distributes brochures, pamphlets, and magazines and organizes lectures and conferences that detail the problem of violence against women and create an open environment where individuals can talk freely about violence and how to fight it. The Coalitions include Al-Badeel: The Coalition to Eliminate Family Honor Crimes, The Working Group for Equality in Personal Status Issues, and The Working Group on the Status of Palestinian Women in Israel.

WAV also provides social services to assist women who are victims of violence. Volunteers at our Crisis Center answer calls 24 hours a day from women who seek advice and information regarding their rights and who need help in emergency situations. In 2001, 1262 women approached the Crisis Center for support and information. Our two Shelters house battered women and their children who want a safe place to live. Counselors and social workers help these women cope and rebuild their lives emotionally through therapy, educational classes and empowerment programs. 70 women, 48 children and 105 girls used these shelters in 2001. The two Half-way houses are designed to help women live independent lives by teaching them basic skills such as finding a job and organizing their finances. The Halfway Houses are always filled to capacity of 6 girls at a time.

Our Future

As long as violence against women continues within Arab societies in Israel, Women Against Violence will continue to change the status of and assist victimized women. In our work, we work with other organizations in Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere to end all violence and discrimination against women everywhere.

Women against Violence
P.O.Box 313, Nazareth 16000, Israel
Tel: +972. 4. 456 6059
Fax: +972. 4. 655 3781, A}

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