“SHEROES” – Strengthening Girls with Migration Background for a Self-determined Life

Project period: 2011-2013

Many girls and young women from strongly patriarchal traditional families have great difficulty in determining their lives themselves. In particular, those affected from Turkish, Kurdish or Arabic backgrounds increasingly seek protection from violence in the name of honour, carried out by their own families. In France it is mostly girls from the Maghreb who are affected, while in England it is young women from Pakistani, Iranian or Arabic countries. Young Romnja also run away from family violence and forced marriage.

Those affected have a high inhibition threshold to overcome before they seek out a counselling service or speak to a government organisation about their domestic family problems.

With the direct participation of girls and young women, possibilities were tried out as to how they could strengthen their capability to act as well as their self confidence and to enable them to better defend themselves against violence. The participating projects aimed at prevention and participative quality development. The opportunities for action that were developed are nor standardised procedures but rather many -layered strategies, which necessarily are adapted to local circumstances and problems.

The project participants aimed to improve the protection for girls and young women, who suffer from family violence, forced marriage and abduction or are even threatened with murder in the name of family honour. Best practice models, in particular the use of online counselling for these hard-to-reach target groups, like the online counselling that Papatya has offered for over six years, were tested for their transferability and were further disseminated. The project “SHEROES” is based on the long cooperation between Papatya and the partner projects, which all offer specialised protection and counselling for young female migrants.


Partner organisations: