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Former residents and women and men who support our work speak out for BORA and tell of their experiences in the shelter, with the staff, and with BORA in general. Please understand that we cannot make public the residents' real names.
Each year 45,000 women in Germany flee violent men and seek help. There are 376 safe houses, called women's shelters, in Germany. BORA is one of six shelters in Berlin.

Women and children who suffered violence come here to heal, BORA Women's Shelter is a place where they can regain emotional and physical stability. Violence prevention is part of our program. BORA is characterized both by professional competence and human warmth. Openness to necessary changes is part of what BORA stands for.

The BORA board of directors invites people to become active for BORA. Donations are always welcome.

Dr. Erika Reihlen
BORA Board of Directors

An Extraordinary Performance
The Women's Shelter Is Rather A Beginning
A Safe House And Retreat For Women
BORA Means A Safe Haven For Me

An Extraordinary Performance

"It all started in Spring of 1998. Our choreographer Diana Goolsbey was planning our new figure skating performance. She chose a topic which is rarely talked about in the broader public: violence against women and children.

We got in contact with BORA Women's Shelter. The women's affectionate welcome and heartfelt friendliness soon convinced us that we had found an extraordinary group of people: Women who care with their heart and thoughts for the needs of battered and abused women and children and give their best to work in their interests.

The staff talked to us about the social and cultural background of violence against women and explained to us the role of the perpetrators and the victims. They led us to the kind of information we needed to translate such a topic into a credible and authentic figure skating performance. The more we learned about violence against women, and the more we heard about the suffering of the victims, the better we could identify with the roles we were dancing. As we expected, our performance was much and rather controversially talked about in the field of figure skating.

In our cooperation with BORA Women's Shelter we were given the opportunity to experience so much we hadn't known before. Listening to the stories of violence women and children had to tell, our eyes were opened to what 'having problems' can really mean.
Christmas Eve together with the women, children, and staff was one of the most beautiful and most touching celebrations of our lives."

Peggy Schwarz und Mirko Müller, German Ice-Skating Champion 1999


The Women's Shelter Is Rather A Beginning

"I thought a women's shelter is something dreadful, the very last chance for a woman. The shelter is the end, there's nothing worse, that's what I thought.
But today I rather think of it as a beginning. I don't know where I'd be now without the women's shelter."

From an interview with a resident who with her two children lived in BORA Women's Shelter in 1998


A Safe House And Retreat For Women

"Since 1990 BORA Women's Shelter has been a safe house and a retreat for women.
I remember well the founding of the shelter which is open to women and children escaping violence. In the following years it was very interesting to see how the original concept of BORA was expanded to include a drop-in counseling center and shelter apartments for battered women. BORA now offers a complete support system for women fleeing violence. The work of women's shelters is getting more important even as new laws against violence against women are being passed,. Many women are traumatized by years of abuse, they need intensive counseling, care, and advocacy. The staff of BORA Women's Shelter is highly qualified to give this support.

Renate Braun, Spokeswoman for Women's Affairs, Diakonisches Werk Berlin-Brandenburg


BORA Means A Safe Heaven For Me

"BORA Women's Shelter to me means a safe haven. Here you can rethink your life in peace and quiet. You are not alone, there are many women in similar situations, and all have to start a new life. To see that others are doing it gives you strength and courage."

An older resident of BORA Women's Shelter in 2000.