Since 1999, the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Family support
a European project on violence against lesbians that is carried out by the Lesbian
Information and Counselling Centre LIBS e.V. Frankfurt/Main. The European
cooperation partners are the Vienna anti-discrimination office for homosexual
lifestyles, the Belgian association Garance asbl, the British group Sola, the Lesbian
Counselling Centre Lesbenberatung e.V. Berlin and the Office for Women's Affairs of
the city of Frankfurt/Main. The project focuses on lesbian women who experienced
violence and/or discrimination.
Our objective is to make violence against lesbians visible, to promote its social
perception and to integrate this phenomenon in the general discourses on violence
At the beginning of the project, we developed a concept of prevention and
intervention that puts the responsibility on non-governmental organisations as well as
public institutions and is oriented towards a specific target group and social policy. In
the following years, different aspects of this concept have been and will be
In 2001, a consciousness-raising campaign on violence against lesbians with the title
"I don't mind lesbians BUT…" was carried out; it addressed prevalent prejudices
against lesbians [www.lesben-gegen-gewalt.de/lesbians-against-violence.com].
In addition, the project initiated cooperation between the lesbian counselling centre
and the police in Frankfurt and incorporated violence against lesbians in the concept
of prevention. On the occasion of the International Day against Violence against
Women, the project organised a symposium where the possibilities of networking
with the police and the public prosecution office following the Dutch model was
discussed as well as opportunities in the field of criminal and civil law to fight violence
against lesbians (and gays).
Besides the discussion on the optimisation of the legal framework for combating
violence against lesbians, the psycho-social assistance of lesbian victims was a main
topic. In Belgium, Germany and Austria, a survey highlighted and evaluated the
accessibility of potential contact points for lesbian victims of violence. This
documentation presents the results of this survey.
The documentation is a joint product of the cooperation partners in Belgium,
Germany and Austria. We would like to thank in particular the European Union and
the German Federal Ministry for Family that made it possible to carry out a lesbianspecific
project of this dimension for the first time.