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Empowerment of older women: preventing violence by challenging social norms in Serbia and Austria (EmPreV)



With a growing population of older people globally, elder abuse is expected to become an even more pressing problem that will affect millions worldwide. While several projects on preventing violence against older women have been carried out in Austria over the past few years and the Red Cross of Serbia has also been involved in this topic, there is still a lack of awareness for the topic among older women themselves as well among different groups of staff that work with them. It demands therefore urgent action of a range of different stakeholders including from the health care and social welfare systems, policymakers, and the general public.


Aims and objectives

  • Empowerment of older women to know their rights and know where to turn to for help in case of abuse
  • Increasing knowledge and awareness of care and social professionals about violence against older women and reporting processes
  • Challenging social norms and behavior of the general public towards elder abuse through awareness raising


Main results and activities

  •  Research report and recommendations providing a clear understanding of the status quo on violence against older women in Serbia and Austria
  • Accreditation of the Red Cross of Serbia as training provider for training on violence against older women for social workers
  • 35 awareness raising workshops for increasing awareness of health and social care staff and volunteers
  • Up- to date brochure and guide, including information about violence against older women, their rights, processes and procedures
  • 35 information sessions with older women
  • 40 trained Red Cross staff and volunteers in Serbia and Austria as trainers for awareness raising workshops for social care staff and volunteers and older women
  • A campaign for the general public about the root causes of violence against older women, including a social media campaign in Austria and a photo exhibition in Serbia


Project consortium

  • Austrian Red Cross (Lead)                                 Duration           1 September 2019 – 31 August 2021
  • Red Cross of Serbia                                          Contact              Natasa Todorovic, Red Cross of Serbia            
  • Institute for Conflict Research