Gender-based violence and immigrant women

Puijola is taking part in the SARAH Project until the end of 2022, and working on the GBV-Tuva Project until spring of 2022. GVB is an abbreviation for gender-based violence.

In both projects we offer individual counselling and group meetings for immigrant and asylum seeking women and girls.

In professional and confidential counselling sessions we can discuss and process violence and the threat of violence. We stand by the women as they identify their experiences of violence, process them and are on their way of becoming survivors.

The forms of Gender-based violence are honor-based violence, sexual violence, human trafficking, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, domestic violence, as well as harassment and assault.

GBV-Tuva Project supports asylum seekers

In the GBV-Tuva project we work with women and girls who seek asylum in Finland.

The aim of this project is to help asylum seeking women and girls identify the experiences of gender-based violence, to promote speaking out about violence and to provide professionals with tools for offering support to anyone who has experienced violence or the threat of it.

Becoming aware of violence is important in ensuring that the experiences of the women and girls will not remain invisible and unrecognized. Subjection to violence may also be grounds for a residence permit.

We support the women as they consider their possibility of recounting the violence they have experienced. Our job is to offer personal counselling sessions to the women and girls. In addition, we organize group meetings for women living in reception centers. We tell them about our work and about their options for getting support.

We offer intensive training for professionals. The objective is to bring up the courage to identify and encounter asylum seekers who have faced gender-based violence and, in this way, offer them support.

The project has produced a material bank, which includes a large collection of information and tools for processing themes of gender-based violence.

The GBV-Tuva Project is funded by the European Union Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund (AMIF). Our partner in the project is the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control affiliated with the United Nations HEUNI.

SARAH Project supports immigrant women

This project is funded by the Rights, Equality and Citizenship Programme (REC 20014-2020).

The name of the international SARAH Project is an abbreviation of the words safe, aware, resilient, able and heard. In addition to Puijola, the project is undertaken in Greece, Italy and Germany.

In the SARAH Project our aim is to raise awareness about gender-based violence and the rights of those subjected to violence. We also bring up the challenges that immigrants have faced while seeking the support they are entitled to.

We try to create solutions to the challenges connected to the particularly vulnerable position of women, which were brought up in our previous CCB-GBV Project, of which you can read more at the bottom of this page.

The core of our work are the personal counselling sessions and group meetings with women. In this project we create a tool, that helps us assess the needs and impact of counselling.

The latest feature in our work are podcasts. The podcasts are created in the mother tongues of the women, so that they would also reach the illiterate women across Europe.

Part of the project focuses on training professionals and arranging networking meetings. We also organize meetings with the authorities and policy makers in each country participating in the Project.

Our work in the SARAH Project is funded by the European Union REC-programme. The project is coordinated by the European Institute for Crime Prevention and Control affiliated with the United Nations HEUNI.

A study reveals: women are not seen

In 2018-2019 our work was part of the research and development project CCM-GBV (Co-creating a Counselling Method for Refugee Women GBV Victims), funded by the EU REC-programme and taking place in six EU-countries. In addition to Puijola, the GBV work was carried out in Germany, Croatia, Italy, Greece and Cyprus.

The data gathered from the GBV Project resulted in a unique study in the European scale, including certain recommendations. The study examines the reasons why refugee women are not seen or heard as victims of violence, and thus, are deprived of the rights they are entitled to. You can read the study here.

Here you can read more about the CCM-GBV Project and its unique method of collecting data. In addition, you can have a look at the handbook on counselling victims of GBV created within the project. The English version of the handbook can be found here.

The project also produced a training manual “Gender-Based Violence and Refugee Women”. The manual in English is accessible here.

All the project materials can be found in several different languages on the website of the project coordinator, German-based Solwodi.

Salla Myyry

Project Coordinator
Sarah and GBV-Tuva projects
p. 050 368 8906

Tiina Hakkarainen
Henriikka Tiihonen

Project counselor
Sarah and GBV-Tuva projects
p. 044 491 6220