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Gender star

We use the gender star (*) to address all people who identify as women.

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Don't hesitate to contact us:

Marie-Luise Löffler. (Foto: privat)
Dr. Marie-Luise Löffler
Head of project
Bergheimer Straße 69
69115 Heidelberg
Phone 06221 58-15520

Jana Christ. (Foto: privat)
Jana Christ
Project management
Bergheimer Straße 69
69115 Heidelberg
Phone 06221 58-15522

GUIDE4YOU logo (by City of HD)


Help for victims of domestic violence

GUIDE4YOU, a pilot project funded by the European Union, has been underway at the Heidelberg Office for Equal Opportunity since 1 November 2019. The project is designed to permanently improve the existing counselling and advice infrastructure in Heidelberg for people affected by domestic violence. This project involves collaboration between the city of Heidelberg, the Institute for Forensic Medicine at Heidelberg University Hospital, the Department of Applied Psychology at SRH University Heidelberg and the Clinic of General Psychiatry at Heidelberg University Hospital. The police and the intervention agency for women (Interventionsstelle) are supporting the project's implementation. 

GUIDE4YOU is aimed at women who are affected by domestic violence. The goal is to simplify access to help for affected women from Heidelberg and the Rhine-Neckar region, in particular in the acute phase following an assault, and to support them according to their individual needs. Despite having a well developed counselling and advice system, many women still can't get access to the help they need, and this is precisely where GUIDE4YOU comes in.

Step 1

The first step is to gather the experiences and perspectives of affected women through an online survey. We want to get a comprehensive picture of the individual needs and desires women affected bring to the counselling system so that we can improve it in a sustained manner. We also want to learn which fears and other factors play into the decision of many women not to seek help or not to leave the violent situation in which they find themselves so that we may provide them with better help in the future.

Of course, the survey is anonymous and can be filled out by any woman who feels it applies to her. It can be completed in Arabic, English, French, German, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Romanian. You can find it on our website here. 

Step 2

The second step begins in May 2020; there will be two guides whom affected women can contact personally and who will provide easy-access advice and counselling, as well as accompany women to the individual services within the existing help system. This kind of personal contact and individual guidance not only helps diffuse the fears of a woman in an acute crisis situation and lessens any reluctance to seek help; it also allows the woman to receive more comprehensive support at each of the offices providing advice and help.

For example, the Institute for Forensic Medicine's walk-in clinic for victims of violence, founded in 2011, can document evidence quickly and free of charge; the Clinic for General Psychiatry can provide in-patient or out-patient crisis counselling with a psychotherapist as needed; and women (and their children) can receive comprehensive counselling and advice at the intervention agency for women and children (Interventionsstelle).

The two-year European pilot project—funded by the European Union’s Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (2014-2020)—is managed and coordinated by Dr. Marie-Luise Löffler from the Office for Equal Opportunity. She and her colleague Jana Christ (project management) are available to answer any questions. At its conclusion, the project is to be expanded to include other comparable municipalities within Germany and the EU. The application for the project was submitted to the EU as part of the Istanbul Convention—an agreement by the Council of Europe on preventing and combating domestic violence.