What is our vision?
- a group of local people comes together and initiates a process, where in the end we have
- a neighbourhood – at least a clearly visible and audible part of it, involving key persons of the community, involving people of different ethnic backgrounds, gender and age – that is conscious and educated about DV/intimate partner violence and therefore becomes
- a neighbourhood willing and capable to break the silence and to take action in supporting victims, despising intimate partner violence publicly and to built a bridge to professional services and last but not least:
- victims do not feel ashamed but encouraged to break the silence and seek help;
- perpetrators are confronted and get support to change their behaviour.
There still is a lot of shame, fear, hesitancy around the issue. The norm of non-intervention is often strong. An estranged and indifferent neighbourhood is a fertile soil for those attitudes, for crime and fear.
Studiesshowed that collective efficacy “is a strong and consistent predictor of intimate-partner homicide perpetrated against women, nonlethal but severe violence, and disclosure of conflict in intimate relationships to potential resources of support“ (Browning 2002: 847).
It is not an option to increase the number of social workers or police to guarantee a 24 hour close knit professional support, surveillance or custody for every home and family. Therefore the civil society has to play a stronger role, we have to create local, grassroots structures of mutual support and social control guided by democratic principles.
“StoP” wants to contribute to the prevention and the reduction of intimate partner violence by building up awareness, knowledge, relations, trust and the willingness to do something.