The “Stuttgart partnership against domestic violence” (STOP) started its work in 2001. In 2003, the Stuttgart Department for Equal Opportunities took over the coordination of this network and its more than 70 member associations. During the network’s annual conference held July 1st, 2013 in Stuttgart with over 250 participants, the Sunia Geel 2 project was presented. The STOP network will directly cooperate with Sunia Geel 2 as local partner in Stuttgart.
The STOP Network has various member institutions, starting from social service providers, police, crisis intervention centers, migrants associations, health services, teachers, prevention centers and political stakeholders. Its aim is to prevent domestic violence, to support victims in an efficient and safe way, offer help and therapy for perpetrators and to implement and monitor zoning orders and shelter housing projects for both men and women.
Dr. Ursula Matschke, Stuttgart’s Equal Opportunities Commissioner, underlined Sunia Geel 2’s importance and the relevance of European collaboration. In Germany one out of four women has experienced domestic violence by their partners at least once in her life. Ten years ago domestic violence was regarded as a “private issue” within a relationship. Since 2002, with the implementation of a new violence protection law, domestic violence is a criminal act. Protection and prevention from / of domestic violence thus has become a governmental task and is no longer a taboo.
Stuttgart counts 55.000 families with children. Estimates count up cases of domestic violence in 20 percent of these families. Thus STOP will concentrate of specific preventive activities to protect women and children from domestic violence. Studies show that children who experienced domestic violence tend to act violently as well once they are adults. In order to work with specific targets groups such as Muslim women, young men and children, STOP will directly participate in Sunia Geel 2.