During the corona crisis, the seats at the country’s men’s centers have been filled.
The Women’s Crisis Center in Holstebro has opened a number of new emergency places for women who have to flee from violent partners.
The five seats are part of a total of 55 new emergency shelters at the women’s crisis centers, which have been created for emergency situations in connection with the corona epidemic.
And the seats are needed, believes the center’s manager, Karin Houmann. Especially in these times.
When there are crises, the violence escalates, she tells DR News.
It is both the financial consequences of the crisis that can lead to more tense situations in the home, and in addition, the families may also not receive the breaks from each other that a normal everyday life with school and jobs provides.
She is forced to be under the same roof as the perpetrator of violence and she cannot get out. Then comes powerlessness, desperation comes, all the things that we know come along, says Karin Houmann.
Fewer hotline inquiries
Since Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen decided to shut down Denmark on March 11, Lev Uden Vold, who operates the national hotline for people who are exposed to or who commit violence in a close relationship, has experienced a noticeable change in inquiries.
At the same time, the total number of inquiries has decreased, so fewer actually contact Lev Uden Violence, and this worries the secretary general Sine Gregersen.
It testifies that there must be more people out there who are unable to seek help as they are now. We also hear women – or men for that matter – calling our hotline, saying they haven’t been able to call for a week because they haven’t been alone, she says.
Sine Gregersen therefore expects to see a kind of ketchup effect as the government opens up more for Denmark. And that is why there is much need for the 55 new emergency places.
I imagine that when the community starts to open up, and it is natural to come out the door in the morning to follow a child to school, that one can use the opportunity to look for a place in a crisis center, she says.
Also more men in crisis
It is not only at the women crisis centers that the crisis can be felt. The men’s centers also feel that the number of emergency inquiries is increasing.
At the Mandecenter in Copenhagen, inquiries have doubled, says director Christina Kirkegaard.
We feel that the man is thrown out, and we have also experienced that the man stands without a roof over his head to him and his children, she explains.
90 percent of the inquiries are about violence, where it is usually about half.
Where the women crisis centers are reserved for women who are subjected to violence of one kind or another, it is a men’s center not only for male victims of violence, but also for men who, for example, are in divorce and have nowhere else to go.
And right now, Copenhagen is full.
The other shelters are also under pressure, so there are no vacancies that we could previously refer to, says Christina Kirkegaard.
I wish that our Minister of Social Affairs and Home Affairs had also allocated some funds to us, but we have not been able to do so.
Minister: We are following the trend
The government is aware of the problems that may be with domestic violence during the corona epidemic.
So says Minister of Social Affairs and Interior Astrid Krag (S).
Of course, we are closely monitoring the situation, because I know well that the pressure is increasing in many vulnerable families right now, she says.
Because more women than men are exposed to violence in close relationships, the priority was to ensure that there was room at the women’s crisis centers.
It is important that you can get help when you seek help and are exposed to violence in close relationships. That is why we have created extra seats around the country at the women’s crisis centers, says Astrid Krag.
Similarly at the men’s centers, it is important to look at the entire country, whether there are vacancies around.
And then it is clear that we will keep an eye on whether there is enough space. Both at women’s and men’s crisis centers and at hostels that fall under the same section of our legislation.