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Kattunneq – women’s shelters in Greenland

62% of Greenlandic women have experienced violence at least once in their lives, and approximately a fourth of Greenlandic children have witnessed their mother being subjected to domestic violence.

In 2013, The Mary Foundation and Danner (Danish NGO working to promote respect, equality and equal opportunities between genders) initiated a survey in order to gain more knowledge and find new ways to combat domestic violence in Greenland. The leaders of the Greenlandic women’s shelters identified two key priorities: Upgrading of the staff at the shelters and interdisciplinary cooperation in the domestic violence area.

The new project “Kattunneq – women’s shelters in Greenland” is a Danish-Greenlandic cooperation which aims to strengthen the shelter actions through networking and by improving the competences of the staff at the shelters.

The project is inspired by a Danish initiative in the Middle East and North Africa which has proven to be effective due to international cooperation and exchange of experiences in the work with abused children and women. In 2013 The Crown Princess and the director of The Mary Foundation visited Morocco together with other project partners in order to experience this international cooperation first-hand.

“Violence against women is a global problem and regardless of where in the world you live, violence has serious consequences. Therefore it makes good sense to cooperate across cultures and borders in order to support women affected by violence. At the Mary Foundation we hope that the strong partnership in this project can use the international experiences in the area to support women and children who have been subjected to violence in Greenland.”

HRH The Crown Princess

In project “Kattunneq”, The Mary Foundation has joined forces with Danner, the Greenlandic women’s shelters, Mælkebøttecenteret (Greenlandic NGO and shelter for children and young people working to improve conditions for children in Greenland), Ministry of Family, Gender Equality, Social Affairs and Justice and the Oak Foundation Denmark. The Danish and Greenlandic partners have initiated cooperation in order to ensure that good experiences are exchanged, passed on and adjusted to the needs at the Greenlandic shelters.

The project was launched in Nuuk in May 2014 where the first training workshop took place. The project will run until 2016.

Domestic violence

29,000 women are subjected to violence at the hands of their partners every year. 33,000 children grow up with domestic violence. Having close relatives who are affected by violence is a big taboo and often regarded as shameful. The Mary Foundation wants to give the silent victims of violence a voice and to help them build a life free of violence.

See more about our area of action Domestic Violence