NANE Women’s Rights Association – short English description

NANE Women’s Rights Association was established in 1994 with the aim to step up against violence against women and children. It is a non-profit, non-governmental organization, active at the individual, community, and social level.

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Activities directed towards individuals

Individual assistance is implemented mainly through the emergency phone lines operated by the Association’s volunteers. The helpline, reserved for adult and child victims of domestic abuse and violence, has been operating since the founding of the Association. Since 1997 the helpline has a toll-free number (+3680505101), and receives around 2,000 calls a year. ‘KERET’ helpline has been available for adult and child victims of sexual violence since 2010 (run by the same helpline volunteers, as contribution to  a coalition on sexual violence with other women’s organizations) and can be called at local rates (+36 40630006). Between 2000 and 2006, an information telephone line was operated to help in the prevention of  trafficking for sexual exploitation, first with the support of the EU (in the form of an International Organization for Migration (IOM) initiative), and later financed by the United States Embassy to Hungary.

  • We started to build an integrated client service model in 2005 to provide victims of violence all the support and assistance they need for their psychological, financial, sexual, and physical security, all in one place. The integrated client service, run jointly with PATENT Association, provides legal assistance, and psychological and social counseling, in person and via phone.
  • The ‘Vodafone for Women’s Safety’ is an experimental program operated between January 2011 and March 2016 , using a mobile alarm service system. It was financed by the Vodafone Hungary Foundation. A cooperation agreement with the Budapest Police Headquarters made access to high-risk victims in certain districts of Budapest possible.

Activities for communities

  • We provide trainings and prevention programs for professionals, offices, and institutions, covering the following areas: domestic violence, the effects of domestic violence on children, sexual harassment, sexual violence, prostitution, human trafficking, and other forms of gender-based violence and discrimination. These services are also available for interested individuals, such as public forums or youth communities
  • Our volunteer training is based on 2 decades of experience, continuously improving both its content and methodology. Our volunteers do a responsible job as helpline assistants and activists. Therefore, we place great emphasis on ensuring that their annually announced training is broad and professionally stable. We also provide our volunteers with regular supervision and further improvement trainings
  • Our support and self-help groups for victims and survivors of violence has been developed based on an international manual and our expertise in helping victims. We regularly hold presentations for those who plan to organize similar support and self-help groups
  • Between October 2013 and March 2016, we’ve run nationwide professional trainings, provided supervision and developmental support, and organised joined advocacy activities for organizations that help woman and child victims of domestic violence. The aim of the project (funded by the NGO fund of the Norway/EEA Grants) is to promote the good practices of effective assistance and legal protection. Our Association assumes a major role in supporting the establishment and activity of such organizations, as well as in promoting their goals

 

Activities on the national level

  • We publish niche books, manuals, and information leaflets useful for both victims and professionals. Our publications are mainly in Hungarian, but we publish our fliers, and certain booklets and manuals created in an international cooperation also in English.
  • We also organize actions, independently or jointly with other organizations, to raise social awareness (e.g.: Women’s Day, summer festivals, International 16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women)
  • One of our main efforts is the Silent Witnesses exhibition, which aims to commemorate women murdered within the context of domestic violence, and raise awareness of the importance of intervention. In addition to the exhibition, we prepare statistics annually on the number of deaths caused by domestic violence, based on press and police reports. The exhibition was created in 1999 and has since been invited to numerous conferences, seminars, and outdoor events (The Silent Witnesses are red, life-sized female silhouettes, with the names of the deceased and the circumstances of their deaths).
  • We participate in creating and distributing awareness-raising, educational short films and advertising spots. Our goal is to strengthen social responsibility to ensure that victims are not left alone in their fight against violence
  • Our informational websites focus on addressing professional audiences, layman helpers and victims, and providing them with useful materials and information
  • We also participate in the development of joint projects to strengthen and support victims, develop relevant policies, legislation, and protocol, highlight the responsibility of state stakeholders, and make them accountable for their responsibilities
  • We are active in lobbying to improve legislation, law enforcement, professional processes, and the health care system responses to violence against women. We examine draft legislations and propose stand-alone ones. The success of these activities depends largely on political intent. Some of our proposals can be found in the current legislation (e.g.: the practice of restraining orders in cases of domestic abuse, and the introduction of harassment and domestic violence as independent items in criminal law). Others have not yet been well-received (e.g.: sexual harassment or sexual blackmail as independent items in the law).
  • Our monitoring activity covers the preparation of reports for various international organizations (UN, EU, Council of Europe) about the enforcement of women’s rights, particularly regarding violence against women, and the review of the status of state obligations defined by CEDAW (Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women) Convention and other international agreements

 

NANE Charter (in Hungarian)

Annual reports (in Hungarian)

Current and previous partners and donors

 

Principles of the work against domestic and family violence

Our principles are defined based on our experience working with victims and survivors and participating in the international violence against women  movement throughout the past 20-plus years. The first helpline to support battered women was established in the United States in the 1970s. Similar helplines were soon established in other democratic countries. The helpline to support battered women is a result of a dedication against violence and solidarity with women. These principles are fundamental not only for our emergency line but several others through the world.

 

It is not the victim’s fault

Violence against women has been experienced for centuries, in almost every culture in the world. Irrespective of what the victim has done, we believe that she is not responsible for the violence committed against her. It is always the perpetrator’s responsibility. Women regularly blame themselves because  society and the state accepts domestic violence against women through family, education, and gender socialization. Additionally, they offer ideologies that blame women for these acts.

We trust those asking for help

Society in many cases does not believe women, or blames them for the violence committed against them. The main task of the emergency line volunteers is to trust those people who call in. The most important way to support  victims is to show our faith in their strengths and autonomy. This gives them the strength to start to break out from their situation. It is important for us to understand what the victims feel, how they see their own situation, and how they interpret their experiences.

 

We listen to each story

We help everyone to explain and express their experiences in their own way, in their own words. Every life is different. Therefore, it is important to get to know the victims and understand their feelings. Our job is to understand them, not to make them understand us.

 

We do not give advice

During a conversation on the NANE helpline, we do not tell the callers what they should or should not do. We try to understand their situation, and provide information to support their own decision-making process. The task of our helpline volunteers is  giving them space to freely talk about their situation, reflect and reassure their feelings, help to map the resources and possibilities of the victim, and give information about domestic violence and the options for fighting against it.

 

Victims have the strength to solve their situation

One goal of the helpline is to support women gain their strength back and believe in themselves again. Our task is to help  victims find their own solutions to their problems.

 

There is a way out, even from seemingly hopeless situations

We need to believe that  there is a way out from every violent situation. In many cases, this is a long and painful path, which is not fair to the victims. However, it is worth fighting for the sake of a safe and peaceful life. Because we believe in the strength of the victims, we can support them in finding their path towards a solution.

 

Everyone can become a victim: there is no ”us” and “them”

Everyone can become a victim. In our society, every woman  experiences some form of violence in their life. However, women experience different types of violence and have different resources for realizing their situation and leaving violence behind. All of us have experienced some kind of violence, and all of us have to work on this experience before we start working for the helpline. So, there is no “us” and “them”. .

 

Domestic violence is not a personal, individual problem

Domestic and family physical, emotional, economic, verbal and sexual violence against women is a social phenomenon affecting people globally. According to the UN, it is due to the social inequality between men and women that has developed throughout our history. Victims of violence usually believe that their case is unique and isolated case, however, it is a society-wide issue. That is why it is a social and political obligation to fight against violence. Social institutions, family centers,  courts, the police, hospitals, etc. have to actively participate in fighting against family violence.

 

We support the victims

Misinterpreted ‘neutralism’, the idea of ‘the truth is in the middle’, making both parties responsible for the violence, or considering violence as relative, are in reality not neutral standpoints. They are in fact supporting the violence and reassuring the abuser. We know that currently men have more power and bigger social influence; and that discrimination affects women in every aspect of their lives. Social institutions generally support those with power and influence. By supporting victims of violence, we try to realize social justice.

 

We are against all forms of discrimination and violence

NANE Women’s Rights Association believes that every person has the same rights regardless of ethnic or national origin, age or social layer, sexual orientation, gender identity, political or religious beliefs or personal history. A life free of violence is a basic human right that applies to everyone.

 

Children have the right to safety

According to international statistics, witnessing violence is just as harmful as experiencing it: children whose parents commit or experience violence suffer even in cases where the children themselves do not face it. Victims are frequently expected to stay with their abusing partner for “the sake of the children”. However, the children’s interest is safety, not witnessing violence within the family.