Love doesn’t hurt

Love doesn’t hurt is a transnational project among European initiatives who collaborate against domestic violence and form an alliance with fellow combatants across Europe.

Indicated incidents of domestic violence are on the rise in most European countries. One reason for this could be that people affected seek help more often than in the past, for example encouraged by the #metoo debate. It is clear that there is a problem in European societies.

Numerous studies have shown that more than half of all women become a victim of domestic or sexual violence at least once in their life. Men also become victims, albeit much less frequently. However, men are also much more reluctant to accept offers of help – but they also have fewer support facilities at their disposal than female victims. Male offenders oftentimes have witnessed or experienced violence in their childhood – the start of a vicious circle. Our project aims to include approaches that address the aggressors, too.

Damage is done in different ways: Physical and psychological injuries to perpetrators, victims and witnesses. The latter are often children. Economic consequences can also be identified: studies in the US are investigating the economic damage caused by domestic violence at the workplace.

Love doesn’t hurt allows various European institutions and initiatives offering support, counselling, protection and therapy for perpetrators and victims to exchange views with their European counterparts. During the two-year project period (until 2020), each of the participating institutions will host all the others once. The specific challenges, offers and services of the institution will be presented, discussed and subjected to a critical but constructive collegial review.

The social sector, which is much less internationally networked than other sectors, benefits from exchange, collegial advice, new ideas and inspiration. Institutions from Germany, Spain, Greece, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey participate in the exchange. Mutual work visits, project presentations and getting to know the approaches pursued in other countries open up new perspectives for all participants, which enrich the work done ‘at home’. In November 2018 the official starting signal was given in Berlin.