In a “Gemeinschaftsunterkunft” for asylum seekers in Brandenburg at the end of September: A young women is severely maltreated and threatened by her ex-partner who lives in the same accommodation. Seeking help, she turns to staff members of the “Heim” and gets the “advice” to lock herself in her room to protect herself. Nobody belonging to the staff of the “Heim” feels responsible for her protection when using the shared kitchen or the shared sanitary facilities. Other female inhabitants of the accommodation inform activists of ‘Women in Exile’, a Brandenburg self-organisation of refugee women. They pick the woman up at the “Heim”, accompany her to a hospital to have her injuries treated, and afterwards to a police station. There she files charges and the police find her a protected flat for women. The women of Women in Exile bring her by taxi to the safe flat which is about 20 km away.
Violence against women it no isolated incident and in Germany there are laws and support organisations to protect of victims of “domestic violence”. The woman would have been in a different situation if she and her child of 2 months had been living in an own flat: She would have called the police and they would have been responsible for protecting her. Following consultation with her either the perpetrator of violence would have been “sent away” or the police would have brought her to a safe flat.
Due to the lack of privacy in collective accommodation refugee women are especially exposed to violence.
This is one of the reasons why Women in Exile & Friends initiated the appeal “Call for a step against violence against women: no Lager for women!”.It is supported by many antiracist, feminist and human rights organisations. On the occasion of the 25/11/2013, the international day against violence against women, we demand from all decicision-makers to abolish accommodation of refugee women in Lagers.
You can sign the appeal here: APPEAL
Call for a step against violence against women: No Lager for Women!
In the last months we have seen a lot of aggression and sometimes even violence by right wing groups against collective accommodation for refugees and we have also seen many left wings and human rights activists and many other parts of the civil society being active in defending collective accommodation for refugees and expressing their solidarity with refugees.
When refugees have to live in collective accommodation they are always exposed to violence, because it is segregating them from other parts of the society and this is making them vulnerable.
This is one of the reasons why we and many other refugee activists have been saying for many years: No Lager! We want to live like everybody else in flats!
We consider the accommodation in Lagers to violate our rights because we cannot determine where and how we live. The authorities put us in buildings on the outskirts of the cities. Because of this segregation, many people tend to believe there is something wrong or something to be feared from the refugee community. Regardless of this the authorities all over the country are planning new Lagers and this is raising the tensions even more.
This pressure and the outside aggression also has an impact on the situation inside the Lager: It leads not only to depressions and stress but also to physical and psychological violence amongst the inhabitants. Women and Children are suffering most from this.
This is one of the reasons why we are saying: No Lager for Women!
In collective accommodation we have no privacy, no safe space. The rooms, the kitchens and sanitary installations are shared by many people. Often refugee women have to go through long corridors to do their daily routines which other women do in the privacy of their own homes. This increases the risk to become a victim of harassment, assaults and violence and the daily life is influenced by fears.
Therefore we demand from all decision makers: Make it possible that refugee women get flats!
We demand from the federal government: Step back from your backward policies of the 90ies which have the aim to keep refugees from entering Germany or to force them to leave again. Abolish the nation-wide law on accommodation of refugees!
We demand from the state authorities: Give directives to the districts that they should accommodate refugees in flats – first of all the women and children!
WE demand from the local authorities: Integrate refugees in your districts by giving them the choice to live in flats wherever they want!
We appeal to all feminist and women’s organisations who plan actions on the 25th of November, the international day against violence against women, to include the needs of refugee women and to put our demands on their agenda!
We as well appeal to all antiracist and human rights organisations to support our demands and to plan or join an action on the 25th of November.
Organisations who signed:
Afrique-Europe-Interact, europäische Sektion
AGISRA Köln e.V. (Arbeitsgemeinschaft gegen internationale sexuelle und rassistische Ausbeutung e.V.)
Amadeu Antonio Stiftung
Antirassisitsche Initiative e.V., Berlin
bff: Bundesverband Frauenberatungsstellen und Frauennotrufe – Frauen gegen Gewalt e.V.
Bündnis gegen Lager Berlin/Brandenburg
BUKO (Bundeskoordination Internationalismus)
Die Veranstalterinnen des Interkulturellen Frauenmusikfestivals im Hunsrück
Flüchtlingsbewegung Sachsen-Anhalt ( KARAWANE für die Rechte der Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen Wittenberg)
Flüchtlingsrat Hamburg e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat NRW e.V.
Flüchtlingsrat Thüringen e.V.
Internationales Frauencafé Imedana e.V., Nürnberg
ISD-Bund e.V. (Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland)
Komitee für Grundrechte und Demokratie
Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft (LAG) autonomer Frauennotrufe in Rheinland-Pfalz
Lesbenberatung Berlin e.V.
Lia, Frauenprojekt des Flüchtlingsrat Bayern
Ökumenische Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft Asyl in der Kirche e.V.
PAN African Women`s Empowerment a Liberation – Organisation (Pawlo Germany) e.V.
Redaktionskollektiv Krampfader, Kassel
Redaktion LabourNet Germany
Refugees Emancipation e.V.
Wagenplatz Schwarzer Kanal, Berlin
Weltfrauenmarsch – Marche Mondiale des Femmes Koordination Deutschland
ZIF-Zentrale Informationsstelle Autonomer Frauenhäuser
You can sign the appeal here:
-- Women in Exile & Friends http://women-in-exile.net/ firstname.lastname@example.org ---------------------------------- Women in Exile ist eine Gruppe von Flüchtlingsfrauen, die sich mit den Problemen von Flüchtlingen aus der Sicht von Frauen befassen und Gesetze bekämpfen, die gegen die Emanzipation von Frauen und Kindern gerichtet sind. 2011 startet WIE+Sisters+Friends die Kampagne: Keine Lager für Frauen! Alle Lager abschaffen! ”WIE“ is a gruop of refugee women, who are focused on asylum seekers problems from a woman perspektive and who fight against laws, that damage emancipation of women and chidren. 2011 WIE+Sisters+Friends startet the campaign: No to Lagers for Women! Close all Lagers!