Municipal services to combat gender violence continue during the state of emergency

05/04/2020 - 12:36

Feminism. The Care, Recovery and Shelter Service (SARA) and the Social Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (CUESB), continue to offer support for any women at risk.

Since the start of the state of emergency for Covid-19, municipal services to combat gender violence have remained operative to assist women, children and anyone at risk.

The confinement period has obliged some of the municipal services to combat gender violence to adapt to the current exceptional circumstances, guaranteeing essential resources to respond to risk situations. Isolation and social and economic uncertainty can make women and children more vulnerable and lead to a rise in cases of gender violence. Between 13 March and 3 April, 537 women have approached the SARA, every week.

This allows people to check:

  • Municipal services in operation to combat gender violence.
  • Specific resources for women, businesses and resident communities, with advice on how to act.
  • Resources for domestic and care workers, available through Barcelona Cuida.

Which municipal services can people approach if they are suffering gender violence?

Care, Recovery and Shelter Service (SARA)

The SARA offers face-to-face, online and phone support specifically for people suffering gender violence, such as women, children, teenagers, LGBTI people and anyone else affected.

  • Monday to Friday, 9 am to 3 pm.
  • 932 915 910 and 932 915 920
  • C/ Marie Curie, 16

Outside SARA hours, people can contact the Barcelona Social Emergency and Urgent Care Centre (CUESB) on 900 703 030. The centre is available to attend to any cases of risk, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Emergency accommodation is also guaranteed for women and young children at risk, in the usual facilities used by the service and now also two hundred additional flats through an agreement with the Apartour tourist operator. These flats have been made available for municipal use if needed during the state of emergency.

Phone numbers against gender violence

Gender violence helplines remain fully operational, providing cover for the whole of Catalonia. The service offers free, confidential assistance in 124 languages and provides information on gender violence, the activation of response mechanisms and intervention services in cases of aggression.

  • 900 900 120
  • 016
  • 24 hours a day / 365 days a year

Legal advice for women

A new legal helpline for women is in operation, handling enquires on support, labour matters, legal guardianship of minors, judicial processes, violence and laws relating to foreign nationals.

  • Monday to Friday, 10 am to 6 pm.
  • 639 534 814

Social services

During the state of emergency, nine social services centres will remain open to handle social emergencies from 9 am to 2 pm. Outside of these hours, the CUESB can be contacted.

Men’s Care Programme (SAH)

The SAH guarantees phone support for any men having emotional difficulty handling the confinement period. Provided by specialist professionals, the service offers guidelines for identifying violent behaviour and attitudes, assuming responsibility and looking for non-violent alternatives in relationships.

  • 933 491 610
  • Monday to Friday, 10 am to 8 pm.

More specialised services

Other specialised services continue to operate online and by phone:

  • Women’s Information and Support Points (PIAD): public service, free and confidential, offering information, advice and guidance for women in different spheres, as well as psychological and legal advice. Phone: 936 197 311.
  • Municipal Unit against Human Trafficking (UTEH): comprehensive service (psychological, social and legal) for victims trafficked for whatever end (sexual exploitation, organ trafficking, begging etc.), advice for social and professional entities which need it. Email: unitatTEH@bcn.cat.
  • ABITS Agency: support for cis and trans women working as prostitutes in Barcelona, giving priority to those in especially vulnerable situations. Comprehensive support so that they can find out about and exercise their rights under equal conditions. Email: abits@bcn.cat.

Specific recommendations to tackle gender violence

Three guides have been compiled to offer guidelines on how to act in cases of gender violence. They are aimed at:

  • Women: recommendations on security and prevention, as well as a guide on how to act in cases of aggression.
  • Communities and neighbours: if a possible case of gender violence at home comes to light, this guide offers guidelines on how to act.
  • Commerce: if a case of gender violence is detected involving a woman customer, this guide is recommended.

Support service for domestic and care workers

Barcelona Cuida is also running an action plan for domestic and care workers, with advice on preventing infection from Covid-19 and useful numbers for healthcare, emotional and legal support. This collective suffers structural rights violations and a high degree of job insecurity, with a lack of formal work contracts, irregular administrative circumstances and workers operating outside the social security system. While their work is fundamental, the current situation of confinement means they are even more unprotected.