Women’s shelter

Women’s Shelter Wedel provides protection and refuge for women with or without children who are being affected by physical, sexual and/or emotional violence or being threatened by either a partner orhusband, a friend or their family, their parents, or a brother. Women living in a lesbian relationship also can find refuge at our shelter.

The shelter is open for women of all cultures, social classes and living circumstances. Only women and their children may stay at the shelter. Our staff provides counselling, chaperonage and support for the women and their children.

Women’s Shelter Wedel provides 15 beds in four rooms of different sizes. The kitchen, living room, children’s playroom and garden are community space used by everybody.

How to reach the women’s shelter

The women’s shelter emergency number can be reached 24 hours a day: 04103-14553.

A meeting point accessible by public transport will be arranged over the phone. We will meet you there 24 hours a day. For the safety of all women and children at the shelter the address is strictly confidential.

In case that we are fully occupied, or if a woman needs to move to a different town for safety reasons, we provide telephone numbers of other women’s shelters.

Criteria for admittance: Women’s Shelter Wedel admits women unbureaucratically and anonymously regardless of their financial situation. Women from the age of eighteen are admitted. Children can only be admitted with their mothers. Boys are admitted up until the age of fourteen (For older boys, we can arrange placement through youth welfare service when necessary.

Check-list

If you are able to make preparations for your coming, please pack enough clothing for your children and yourself. When you come with your children, also bring their favourite cuddly toys if possible:

  1. sufficient clothing; also a favorite cuddly toy for each child.
  2. ID, passport, residence permit
  3. ARGE-papers, proof of earnings certificate
  4. Health insurance card
  5. Wage tax card, pension insurance and other insurance papers, working permit
  6. Social security card
  7. Birth certificate, school certificates
  8. Money, savings account book
  9. Drivers license
  10. Leasing contract
  11. Marriage certificate
  12. For each child: birth certificate, children’s ID, child allowance number, vaccination record, custody notification, school supplies, medical prevention record
Shelter and support

When a woman and her children arrive at the women’s shelter, there will be an initial conversation depending on the situation to give her the opportunity to get her problems off her chest. A childcare staff member will look after the children during this time.

During the initial conversation, necessary first steps for the woman’s basic coverage and safety will be clarified. We will make appropriate staff referrals meaning that each woman will be assigned a specific staff member to support her during and sometimes even after her stay at the women’s shelter. Depending on the woman’s needs, necessary steps for her to take will be identified and she will receive support in dealing with authorities.

During counselling, each woman will have the opportunity to discuss her experiences and to develop new perspectives. In case of a crisis the staff member assigned to her will be at her side for support and clarification.

Our shelter is resource-oriented, and we encourage strength, creativity and vitality in the women and children we serve.

Migrants at the women’s shelter

Women of all cultures and nationalities stay at the women’s shelter. Whenever possible, staff members counsel in each woman's native language or provide an interpreter to ensure understanding with the staff members.

After three years of marriage, a woman is entitled to a residence permit independent of her husband. In case of domestic violence, it is possible to obtain an exception before the two years are over. We help women (insert: who are victims of violence from their husbands, find a competent lawyer.

We support migrants to enrol in German classes if necessary.

Life at the women’s shelter

The women’s shelter is neither an asylum nor a hotel. The occupants together organize their daily schedules and their lives themselves. They remain responsible for themselves and their children.

There are house rules structuring living together as well as the safety of the women and children. All occupants and staff members have to abide by the house rules. To provide anonymity and for safety reasons, visitors are not permitted at the women’s shelter.

During their stay, women will meet other women with similar experiences. This often helps in dealing with their own situation. Questions and problems concerning the living together at the shelter, issues such as cultural differences, future prospects and specific women’s issues are discussed during the weekly house meetings, the mothers' meetings and issue-oriented group meetings.

Offers at the women’s shelter

Besides one-on-one interviews and the obligatory house meetings and mothers' meetings, we offer regular creative afternoons. These may be creative or technical opportunities as well as outings in the immediate area. During those afternoons, women can discover and expand their creativity and zest for living. The children have their own afternoon program, this way the women have time for themselves and their needs.

Once a week we offer a common breakfast open also for women who have moved out. This is an opportunity for pursuing counselling. For the children, we also offer a children’s breakfast. These offers are optional.

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