De Veilige Veste (‘the Safe Fortress’) in Leeuwarden is an old police station repurposed as a shelter for young women who have become the victims of ‘lover boys’ (young pimps), abuse, human trafficking and the likes.
KAW Architects write: “these girls used to be hidden from view, but modern media hound them. That is why shelter organisation Fier Fryslân came up with the idea of ‘visible but safe’.”
The building will house up to 48 women aged 15 to 23, and still have room for 1600 square metres of office space. Visitors will have to pass four security measures to get in. Fier Fryslân figures these measures will hardly be necessary, as the perpetrators typically don’t want to come out in the open anyway.
If you don’t understand what they say in this video by Omrop Fryslan, don’t worry, neither do we. It is presented in Frisian, although the interviews are in Dutch.
A judge in Roermond, Limburg said that he should have been given a fine of 132 euro for destruction of property, namely two cell phones, jewelry and a handbag of the ex he tried to run down. Since that didn’t happen, his 40 day detention was enough ‘punishment’ and he’s free to fly off the handle again soon because he has anger issues that aren’t going anywhere.
Once the pride of Limburg in Formula 1 racing ‘Jos the Boss’ has now become just another abusive partner and criminal in many people’s eyes. According to the woman’s story, she jumped out of his car at a filling station and he drove after her, hitting her with his car on her side. She only had scraped and bruises, which even scares me as a I write this. He then drove her home and made the textbook profuse apologies, begging her not to call the police. Once she was home, she eventually called the police, and he’s been arrested.
Having compared Limburg to Québec where I come from in a PechaKucha presentation in Maastricht, I can tell you that Gilles Villeneuve (here above), Québec’s first F1 race car driver did some really weird and dangerous stuff on the track, but not to his loved ones.
Men (or women technically, although statistically men) who beat their wives and kids get a free hotel stay in Amsterdam thanks to the law of the temporary restraining order. (The English and French translations are a sloppy read, I bet the rest is too.)
Last year Amsterdam spent about 66,000 euro on the hotels and cab rides of aggressive partners, but Amsterdam wants to put a stop to it. Municipalities are not obliged to pay for these expensive stays by law, but it did make it easier to remove someone from their home for the 10 days of the restraining order.
Remember, this is a country where just last year a national government advert suggested battered women just talk it out with their aggressive partners and where in 2010, it was the only member country whose domestic violence phone help lines were not free to call.
In a time of serious cost cutting, other big cities will probably follow suit. I don’t see why we should provide anything to abusers but psychological help.
A Dutch government television and radio commercial with a social message on domestic violence has caused a scandal for inciting women who get beaten by their male partners to ‘just talk it out’. And this contemptuous Christian valued attempt at keeping a dysfunctional relationship together for no good reason deserves a translation:
A soft spoken woman says: “The first few months I didn’t dare try anything. I let it all wash over me. It hurt, but it will go away, just like the bruises. I thought it was so sweet when a girlfriend of mine said, ‘That’s enough already. You can solve this together, with outside help.’ Then I called.”
Any usual Western world message is ‘get out of there, call someone, get help, take the kids with you too, etc.’, as we have seen here on billboards, even written in Turkish and Arabic. As we all have learned, a man who beats his wife will most probably continue to do so. Why take that risk? Yes, women do stay with partners because of the children, because they choose to be economically dependent on them, etc. But is it really responsible for my tax money to finance advertising that tells women to stay put and get beaten up? It’s totally disgusting and it won’t solve anything.
De Pers quotes an expert that says the government is trying to tell people in bad relationships with a lot of yelling and stuff that they should talk it out, which is obviously the wrong group to be focusing on. What the government doesn’t understand is that hard core wife beaters are committing a crime and that, like oh so many problems in Dutch society, don’t go away by having tea and a friendly chat.
The Netherlands has even been criticised by the United Nations for being the only member country whose domestic violence phone help lines were not free to call. Apparently, being cheap is a good Christian value to them.
Dutch outgoing Christian government: may you rot in hell.