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Aid facilities

Contact points for help in violence situations

In case of imminent danger, the police should be contacted (under the emergency number 133)!

Independent of contacting the police, women who are threatened or affected by violence can turn to a large network of facilities offering legal and practical help.

In addition to women experts providing support around the clock on the free women’s helpline (telephone: 0800 222 555), counselling centres for sexual violence are available in the event of rape, and Violence Protection Centres/ Intervention Centres have been set up to provide help in violence situations occurring in families and/or the social environment. Women’s shelters provide safe accommodation for women and their children who are at risk of or affected by violence.

Women and girls who are threatened or affected by forced marriage are given support and emergency accommodation in a safe place by the counselling agency Orient Express.

Women who are victims of human trafficking or cross-border prostitution trade are given support at the Intervention Centre for Victims of Women Trafficking.

There is a number of counselling centres specialised on migrant women. Also the women’s helpline 0800 222 555 offers advice in various languages and refers callers to the nearest specialised facility.

Furthermore, many of the above mentioned aid facilities offer counselling in the victims‘ native language or will use interpreters where necessary.

Documents: 

To enable women to access any kind of help available, the following descriptions give an overview of the aid facilities that focus on the protection of victims.

Women’s Helpline against Male Violence

0800 222 555 (free of charge within Austria)
Counselling: 24/7, anonymous and free of charge, 365 days a year.

A team of women experts offer help seekers first advice and crisis counselling and refer them to regional protection and counselling facilities for women. Moreover, they inform about legal and social issues and provide quick help in emergency situations.

Foreign-language counselling is offered in Arabic, English, Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian, Romanian, Spanish and Turkish.

For detailed information please see Women´s Helpline against Male Violence, in German Frauenhelpline gegen Gewalt

Counselling centres for sexual violence (“Women's Emergency Helplines”)

Counselling centres for sexual violence (“Women's Emergency Helplines”) are psychosocial facilities offering specifically targeted assistance for women and adolescent girls who have experienced sexual violence.

These centres offer the following services:

  • Crisis intervention
  • Psychosocial counselling
  • Psychotherapy (referral on request and if required)
  • Traumatotherapy (referral on request and if required)
  • Psychosocial and legal assistance in court proceedings
  • Counselling for attachment figures
  • Events (for multiplicators, attachment figures, interested persons)
  • If required, use of interpreters

The federal states of Upper Austria, Salzburg, Styria, Tyrol and Vienna have set up autonomous Women's Emergency Helplines that provide professional assistance during operating hours. Outside these hours, and for affected persons from other federal states, the Women’s Helpline against Male Violence 0800/222 555 (free of charge within Austria), offers first advice and crisis counselling regardless of the caller’s residence. If necessary, callers will be referred to the appropriate facility of the respective federal state.

Apart from individual counselling and assistance in court proceedings for women and girls who are affected by sexual violence, the Helpline has its main field of work in prevention, public relations, educational activities and networking. For this purpose the five autonomous Women’s Helplines of Austria have merged in December 2010 and are now acting as the Federal Association of Autonomous Women’s Helplines of Austria (BAFÖ).

For detailed information please see the joint homepage of autonomous Women's Counselling Centres for sexual violence, in German: Autonome Frauen-Beratungsstellen bei sexueller Gewalt.

Operating 24/7, 365 days a year, the 24-hour Women’s Emergency Helpline of the City of Vienna (+43 1 71 71 9) is available anonymously and free of charge for women and girls from age 14 who are affected by sexual, physical or mental violence. For more information please see Women’s Emergency Helpline of the City of Vienna

For the full list of the addresses of the Women's Emergency Helplines please see: Frauenberatungsstellen bei sexueller Gewalt gegen Frauen und Mädchen (Frauennotrufe)

Violence Protection Centres / Intervention Centres against Domestic Violence

Violence Protection Centres/Intervention Centres offer active help and support for affected persons, free of charge and confidentially – in particular after police interventions in the event of domestic violence and stalking. Their primary task is to protect the victims and enhance their safety.

These victims’ aid facilities serve as hubs for all institutions involved (e.g. security authorities, courts, youth welfare authorities, women’s shelters).

Violence Protection Centres/Intervention Centres offer the following services:

  • Help with improving protection and safety for women and their children
  • Information and support especially after an eviction
  • Assistance with the phrasing and filing of applications with a court and help with contacting authorities
  • Assistance during police questioning and court proceedings
  • Psychosocial and legal assistance in court proceedings
  • If necessary, referral to other facilities (women’s shelters, counselling centres for women and families, child protection facilities, psychotherapists etc.)
  • If necessary, counselling in the native language of affected persons or use of interpreters

Each federal state has its own Violence Protection Centre/Intervention Centre. Some federal states also have regional centres.

Links:

Women’s shelters

Women’s shelters offer immediate help, without any red tape, for endangered or abused women and their children, including protection, accommodation/safe living quarters, meals and counselling. Women’s shelter workers counsel, accompany and support affected persons in dealings with authorities, alimony and custody matters, divorce issues, finding a job and a place to live. Advice is provided regardless of nationality, religious belief or income. Women’s shelters offer the following of services:

  • Emergency aid
  • Protection and accommodation
  • Crisis intervention
  • Psychosocial and legal counselling
  • Psychosocial and legal assistance in court proceedings
  • Help with filing applications
  • Follow-up care
  • Referral
  • On-call service around the clock
  • Care and advice for children and adolescents
  • If necessary, native-language counselling or interpreting service

Link: Addresses of women’s shelters (in German) 

Information Centre Against Violence of the Association of Austrian Autonomous Women’s Shelters

The Information Centre was created with the goal of preventing domestic violence against women and children and ensuring effective cooperation of all societal institutions. The Information Centre carries out projects for the prevention of violence against women/domestic violence.

The services provided by the Information Centre target the media, police, courts, medical workers, students, educational institutions etc., and include:

  • Producing and supplying information material
  • Information provided by telephone or in person, referral to aid facilities
  • Information for various target groups: media, police, courts, medical workers, students, educational institutions etc.
  • Preparing and holding seminars for training/advanced training
  • Providing women experts and instructors for events
  • Advice and support with the launching of initiatives to combat violence against women

For more information please see the website in German Verein Autonome Österreichische Frauenhäuser

Orient Express – counselling and emergency accommodation for women and girls affected by forced marriage

A team of specialized female experts offers counselling and support for girls and young women (16-24), who are threatened or affected by forced marriage. Also (anonymous) online-counselling is being offered.
Since August 2013 emergency accommodation is available in cases of imminent danger - whose address is kept secret for safety reasons.

Orient Express offers the following services:

  • Counselling for affected girls and their parents in case of imminent forced marriage
  • Crisis intervention in cases of imminent forced marriage
  • Support to solve conflicts (with parents, ...)
  • Contact to the Youth Welfare Office in charge
  • Support in moving out of the parent´s apartment
  • Temporary emergency accommodation with native-language care and counselling
  • Help, if legal steps are necessary in the country of origin (to look for a lawyer specialised on divorce and marriage annulment)

For detailed information please see the website Orient Express

Intervention Center for Trafficked Women (IBF)

The Intervention Center for Trafficked Women (Interventionsstelle für Betroffene des Frauenhandels) provides comprehensive advice (by multilingual staff) and support for women who have been trafficked into or within Austria, to be exploited in prostitution or marriage, in the household or in other fields of work (e.g. cleaning industry, agriculture, tourism). The IBF closely cooperates with government authorities and private institutions and also maintains contacts with non-governmental organisations abroad, with the aim of informing female migrants in their home countries about violence prevention and coordinating service options for affected women and girls in the countries of origin, transit and destination countries.

IBF offers the following services:

  • Temporary emergency accommodation with native-language care and counselling
  • Visiting women in custody pending deportation if there is grounds for suspicion that they are victims of women trafficking
  • Health advice, psychological and social counselling, psychotherapy and life counselling
  • Counselling and intervention related to residence and labour laws
  • Assistance during police questioning
  • Psychosocial and legal assistance in court proceedings
  • Support with obtaining documents (documents required under aliens’ laws, registration form, duplicates of travel documents, certificates for the journey home)
  • German language courses and other options for advanced training and promoting integration
  • or preparing for return in cooperation with NGOs in the countries of origin as well as other organisations

For detailed information please see the website Intervention Center for Trafficked Women

Further information