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Netherlands - Essa Reijmers

Essa Reijmers

Essa Reijmers Netherlands

Organisation: Participating on behalf of the Dutch Women’s Council (my own organisation: Blijf Groep)

Country: Netherlands

My favorite feminist is: Audre Lorde

What makes me angry about patriarchy: The injustice and the waste of talents and skills.

My areas of expertise when it comes to VAWG: Violence in partner relationships; children that have witnessed violence between parents; the developments in approach of VAW in shelters, e.g. systemic interventions. A new area of interest being online safety/cyber violence as part of the pattern of VAW

Key issues when it comes to VAWG in your country/organization that the other EWL Observatory experts need to know.
The vulnerable position of migrant and refugee women (both legally and socially)
The tendency in the Netherlands to shift focus in dealing with domestic violence to child abuse and have less eye for partner violence/violence against women. One of the ways in which we try to tackle this is by stressing the connection between different forms of violence and intergenerational patterns of violence as well as continuing to stress gender inequality as key factor where policies can tend to become ‘gender neutral’.

Explain briefly your daily work as if you were to explain it to a 12 years old:
My organisation supports women and their children that are being abused at home: we give them a safe place to stay and help them end the violence and find out how they can make a safe home for themselves in the future. Some women also stay at home with our help. If it is safe enough, we also work with the abusive men who. We have 7 shelters and we also have services in the communities. My job is to help our workers to do their daily job as best as they can by finding out what help is really working, how it works and how they can work even better. We do projects to make their work easier or give them new ways to help women and children better. We know for instance that many women seek help with their computer/smart phone/tablet, so we now develop online learning modules. We also see that social media or smart phones can be used to find and harm someone and we help the workers to know how this works and how they can create (more) online safety, so everyone still has the possibility to use the new tools, but in a safe way

If you could change one thing for women, what would that be:
The right to be who YOU want to be.

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Loud and United to end violence against women and girls, European Women’s Lobby Conference, 6 December 2017, Brussels.

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