Zentrale Informationsstelle Autonomer Frauenhäuser
The ZIF (Zentrale Informationsstelle Autonomer Frauenhäuser) was founded in 1980 as a central information point for autonomous women's refuges. Since then it has been committed to stopping violence against women and improving the situation of women who have been affected by violence and their children.
- The ZIF is not tied to any political party or religious denomination, has a feminist and anti-racist understanding of itself and works unequivocally for women who have been affected by violence and their children.
- The ZIF is financed solely through membership contributions of the women's refuge organisations organised within it and from donations.
- The ZIF coordinates and moderates the political and material conceptual relationships between the autonomous women's refuges.
- The ZIF is the voice of autonomous women's refuges at federal policy level, publishing on their behalf opinion pieces and press releases concerning the issues of violence against women, violence against girls and boys and the situation of women's refuges.
- The ZIF is part of both national and international networks.
Violence against women:
Every woman affected by violence and her children must have safe, rapid and hassle-free access to protection and support in a women's refuge or safe house. Violence occurs in many forms, and violence that is experienced physically is often only the (visible) tip of an escalation of violence.
Violence against children:
Violence against mothers has an impact on children. Often they themselves are also directly affected by the violence. They require protection together with their mothers from the violence suffered, and likewise need a safe space and time to process what they have experienced. That is why women's refuges are also safe houses for children. Women's refuges offer dedicated support workers for the children who will take the time to respond to the needs and wishes of the girls and boys.
Custody and access rights:
When women affected by violence move into a women's refuge or safe house with their children, questions of custody and access rights often have to be clarified as well. The safety and protection of the women and children must always be the number one priority.
Funding for women's refuges:
Women's refuges and safe houses are funded in very different ways across Germany. Protection from violence only functions if every woman who is affected by violence and her children are given safe, rapid and hassle-free access to protection and support in a women's refuge or safe house. The income situation of the woman affected by violence must not be the determining factor in deciding on admission into a women's refuge / safe house.