Source: (2004) CNF Quarterly Journal (Co-operating Netherlands Foundations for Central and Eastern Europe). February. Downloaded 8 March 2005.
In recent years, women’s aid agencies in the Netherlands have primarily catered for a woman’s safety, her protection from the man, offering her shelter and helping her to organise her life herself, independently, far from the man, far from acquaintances who would be able to tell the man where she was living. She can then build up a new life in a place far away, with or without children. However, what we notice in the Netherlands is that this is only a fraction of the solution: it is very hard to start a new life somewhere a long way away. If there are children, the route to the man is never sealed off, because if the man does not go looking for the children, the children will look for their father some time between now and becoming adult, even if no contact has been agreed. Many women also seek contact with their ex-partner after some time; for them it was not so
much the relationship as the violence within it that had to stop. That is why new forms of aid have been developed in which more support can remain (or be sought) for the woman and in which her safety is guaranteed.
In Amsterdam, for example, in addition to refuges there are also support offices in each district of the city where women who are abused and still live at home can build up a plan of action (to stay, to mobilise aid or to flee). Women, who after shelter choose to return home, can make use of counselling on their return. That is how contact with Family Group Conferencing (FGC) came into being. Since 2001 Family Group Conferencing (a decision-making model) has been successfully applied to Youth Welfare Work in the Netherlands. In Canada and America there had been earlier successes in stopping violence by projects on domestic violence and Family Group Conferencing. In the Netherlands, a start was made in 2002 in providing Conferences for domestic violence. (excerpt)
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