The sad truth about femicide in Austria 2021 and what you can do about it
28 murders of women were recorded in Austria in 2021, as of November 2021. A shocking number. However, according to the autonomous Austrian women’s shelters, 24 murders of women were also committed in 2020, mostly by ex-partners/acquaintances/family members. Last year also saw a significant increase in calls to the women’s helpline against violence: March, April and June saw 71% percent more calls than usual. But what can we do about it? Which organizations are working against it?
1. Women’s shelters
Women’s shelters offer a safe place to live for women and their children who experience violence. In Austria, there are a total of 29 women’s shelters in all federal states. You can find the respective women’s shelters here.
2. Women’s hotlines
The Austria-wide women’s helpline 0800 / 222 555 is responsible for social and legal questions and can refer you to other counseling centers and women’s shelters. The provinces of Vienna, Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria and Tyrol have their own women’s emergency hotlines, which you can find here.
3. The WAVE Network
The WAVE Network is a network NGO composed of European women’s NGOs working in the field of combating violence against women and children. They organize different working groups, campaigns, trainings and projects to inform about and prevent violence against women and children. One can intern, work, become a member or donate in the organization.
4. Voluntary work at the autonomous Austrian women’s shelters
The autonomous Austrian women’s shelters are always looking for volunteers. For example, at the moment they are looking for volunteers for the neighborhood project “StoP – Neighborhoods without Partner Violence” in the 5th district. There is also the possibility to do an internship or to help with projects. At the moment, we are also looking for a handyman or handywoman who can help out on a regular or occasional basis as a volunteer.
5. Social Held partner organizations for gender justice
The fight against misogyny, or misogyny, begins in the context of education. There needs to be more awareness and education around gender justice. On Social Held, we have two NPO partners working on this issue and women’s empowerment in general that you can volunteer with: HeForShe and Free Girls Movement.
HeForShe Vienna is a registered non-profit association supporting the UN Women HeForShe campaign. It is politically independent and organized exclusively on a volunteer basis. The aim of the association is to anchor the UN Women HeForShe campaign institutionally in Austria as well and to give a strong voice to the values and principles associated with it. Since their foundation in February 2016, they have been actively campaigning for gender equality and parity.
The Free Girls Movement is an organization founded by three young women to provide new career perspectives for girls with an immigrant background. The focus of their work is on the education and personal development of young girls who, for traditional reasons, cannot or are not allowed to pursue an education or a career of their own.