The Zonta Club of Feldbach, District 14, offers emergency accommodation for women in need, who often have to leave their homes because their partners or husbands are violent. The apartment called Zonta Hafen, or Zonta Harbor, is available for women and their children.
The women, who can live for a maximum of three months in the emergency accommodation, get help and advice from the experts of Innova, a help and counseling center for women in Feldbach.
During the past few years, Zonta club members observed an increase in the number of reported cases of violence, although they live in a very calm and peaceful part of Austria. Many of the women experiencing violence were not able to stay in their homes any longer, so they needed a safe place to stay. The only place available before Zonta Harbor was the Women’s Refuge, which is more than 50 kilometers away from Feldbach and is usually booked months in advance.
In 2014, Zonta Harbour was a hotel accommodation, for which the Zonta Club of Feldbach paid the rent. The accommodation was well received by the community. There were 254 registered overnight stays.
In December 2015, the Municipality of Feldbach offered the club an apartment for the next 10 years, also paying the rent and the running costs. Club members had to furnish the 60 square meter flat and now are bearing the operating costs and some special needs of the women.
Until 2016, the work of Innova was paid in part by Styria, a state in southern Austria.
In addition to Zonta Harbor, club members support the women on their way to normal life by assisting with the costs of furniture, food and other things.
Over two biennia, the Zonta Club of Feldbach has already invested approximately US$35,295 in the Zonta Harbor project.