Opening Doors

Creating awareness and empowering immigrant women to end violence and abuse within and outside the family (2014-2016)



The project aimed to support immigrant women to become their own advocates and train them to function as community leaders in their own ethnic and language communities across Austria, Czech Republic, Romania, Slovenia, Greece and the UK.


A further aim was to establish sustainable infrastructures at the local ethnic community level in order to address the needs of immigrant women threatened by violence or those who are survivors.


The project also had the goal of attaining local and European networks of organizations dealing with issues of violence against women especially immigrant women.





The following activities were undertaken within the project:

  • Training
  • Workshops
  • Manual
  • Creation of network
  • Conferences

Around 100 Immigrant women from different ethnic communities were identified as potential Peer Leaders in each of the partner countries. Peer Leader Training empowered immigrant women from different ethnic communities to approach the sensitive topic of violence and become aware of their role in supporting victims of violence.


The Peer leaders used lessons learned and conducted 12 workshops in their mother tongue for women within the respective communities. Each partner country could thus reach, train and inform around 80 women from different ethnic communities.

 The collection of workshop materials resulted in a mini manual translated in 6 different languages. In Austria (Graz) a self-defense training programme was implemented with the aim of learning to deescalate violence.

Each partner country established 6 close network partners.


Transnational meetings were also organized which led to an exchange on policy making at a European level. These meetings were also attended by Peer Leaders from partner countries thus enabling another dimension of networking between stakeholders, target group and partner organizations.The culmination of the project was the international conference which took place on the 1st of October 2012. The conference included expert speakers, a presentation of the outcomes of the project and discussions. Over 90 persons attended the conference which took place in the City Hall of Graz.





"Opening Doors" was a project with a large scope given the contribution of 6 European countries.


Since the partner countries were both old and new members of the EU, there were various elements that brought added value to the project. The project as a whole was marked by a number of activities which had a direct influence on the target group.


Since the same activities (except self defence training) were carried out by all the partners it was possible to compare and point out similarities and differences: similarities were discussed in relation to policy development at European level whereas differences were identified as good practices to be implemented at local level.



Lead organisation:


OMEGA – Transcultural Centre for mental and physical health and Integration




Association of Women Against Violence-ARTEMIS, Cluj Napoca, RO


Hellenic Regional Development Center


Organization for Aid to Refugees


Slovene Philanthropy - Association for promotion of voluntary work


Iranian and Kurdish Women`s Rights Organisation