2. Model of good practice

In 1997, the staff of the lesbian counselling centre in Vienna decided to break the silence about violence amongst lesbians. Discussions started first in their own group, later on they invited lesbians from other organisations in Vienna to join in.

No one denied the fact of violence between lesbians and within lesbian relationships, but all the concerns about lesbophobic reactions, about misuse and about their own resistance towards this issue had to be discussed before the idea of organising a series of workshops and discussions was agreed.
From December 1998 to April 1999, more than 20 activities took place. Discussions, lectures and workshops in different community places were organised, a questionnaire was developed and distributed.
The organisers offered a wide range of events from a lecture about lesbians as perpetrators to a closed group to talk about experienced sexual violence within lesbian partnerships, from discussions about the patriarchal influence on lesbian partnerships to a workshop about the fine line between gossip, social exclusion and mobbing within the lesbian community.
Not surprisingly much more women were prepared to listen to a lecture or a talk than to join a small group to talk about their own experiences.

The participants said that raising the issue of violence within the lesbian community was an important initiative, but even in Vienna it is quite a small community and the fear of too much publicity made it difficult to exchange personal experience.

Finally, the organisers published the development of the idea and the content of the workshops in a book, “Entscheidend einschneidend: Mit Gewalt unter Frauen in lesbischen und feministischen Zusammenhängen umgehen” Ebner Michi et al. (Hginnen), Wien: Milena Verlag, 2001

page 1 of 1
to top

Funded by:and
European Commission and the German Federal Ministry of Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

Imprint | Sitemap