Care4Trauma. Improving GBV survivors support services and the access to justice through Trauma-informed care
Victims’ Rights Strategy 2020-2025 pays particular attention to the specific needs of victims of gender-based violence. In its two-strand approach, the EU highlights how one of the main objectives presented in the strategy is the empowering of victims of crime to improve their capabilities of reporting crimes, participating in criminal proceedings, claiming compensation and recovering, as much as possible, from the consequences of crime. An approach capable of providing a safe environment and promoting a culture of empowerment and understanding for the victims of GBV is an approach which can lead to more consistent access to justice for traumatized women and to an improvement in the area of reporting GBV, whose real numbers still remain unclear.
Trauma-Informed Care (TIC) is an approach which recognizes the presence of trauma symptoms and acknowledges the role trauma may play in an individual’s life. On an organizational level, TIC aims at changing organizational culture to improve the response to the effects of trauma at all levels. TIC has been used to combat the effects of unaddressed trauma and secondary victimization within organizations. Secondary victimization or system-oriented trauma, is a form of re-traumatization that, as also stated by the Victims’ Right Strategy, is often faced by GBV victims in the process of receiving support and protection and in accessing the judicial system.
The Care4Trauma project is aimed at women survivors of gender-based violence, professionals and organizations that work in this field.
Therefore, the Care4Trauma project aims at improving the access to justice for victims of GBV by:
- strengthening the services for traumatised women provided by victims’ support organizations
- encouraging the adoption of a trauma-informed approach in a larger number of supporting organisations
- enlarging the understanding of the benefit offered by TIC approach.
This approach identifies the presence of trauma symptoms and recognises the role that it can entail for a person’s life. TIC is aimed to change the organizational culture to improve the response to the effects of trauma at all levels.
Financed by the programme Justice Programme (JUST) of the European Commission, Care4Trauma will be implemented between june 2022 and november 2024. This project is leaded by Associazione MondoDonna Onlus (Italy) and its partner entities: Asociación Bienestar y Desarrollo (ABD,Spain); Italian Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (SISST, Italy); Union of Women Associations of Heraklion Prefecture (UWAH, Greece); Women’s Support and Information Centre (WSIC, Estonia); Autonomous Women’s House Zagreb (AŽKZ, Croatia)
- Research in each country based on the collection and analysis of data on the GBV victims’ access to justice and the use of trauma-based help and support systems.
- Advocacy activities aimed at raising awareness of the effectiveness of trauma-based aid and support systems
- Capacity Building Training for social workers, social pedagogues, lawyers, psychologists and psychiatrists working with women survivors of violence on the approach to trauma-based care (TIC) and creation of a specialized program for psychotraumatology and a system of help and support based on trauma
- Design of a manual on the access to justice through Trauma-informed Care
- Communication activities aimed at Increasing the awareness and knowledge of stakeholders about the access to justice through Trauma-informed Care related to gender-based violence.