MARVOW 2.0: Coordinated Multi-agency Response to Violence against Older Women builds on the earlier MARVOW project implemented between 2019 and 2022 and will expand a multi-agency collaboration model to protect older women affected by violence in the European Union.

The workshop “Violence Against Older Women: multi-agency response to institutional violence” explored the topic of institutional violence against older women (repeated or regular abuse performed in any institutional environment where service users are engaged with professionals). It offered a deep dive into the response to combat that type of violence on an institutional level through the learnings of the MARVOW and MARVOW 2.0 projects: Coordinated Multi-agency Response to Violence against Older Women.

The workshop will take place with the purpose of sensitizing and raising the capacity of professionals of WSSS from Europe about the phenomenon of violence against older women, discussing in depth the field of Institutional Violence in the limits of violence against older people, and informing them regarding the methodology of multi-agency response. It is an opportunity to get familiarized with the MARVOW project and clarify the importance of multi-agency cooperation with a view to effectively coping with incidents of violence against older women. Another objective of the workshop is for professionals to exchange information on how these incidents are dealt with in other countries and to call them for a coordinated response in terms of MARVOW methodology and multi-agency cooperation. Through their cooperation and a better understanding of the significance of multi-agency cooperation, it is more likely to eliminate cases of institutional violence against older women and adequately manage support for survivors of violence against older women.

The online course, including the new classes on multiagency cooperation, is available here.

One set of Replication Guidelines was during the final months of the MARVOW project, consisting of a report with detailed guidelines about how to implement the multi-agency cooperation model. This report is public and available to all entities interested in replicating the project activities, both in partner countries and beyond.

You can access the Replication Guidelines here.

The article “Sexualised violence against older women: the importance of multiagency collaboration” was published in the Fempower magazine in December 2021. This article specifically focuses on the issue of sexualised violence against older women, and how systematic protocols of multiagency cooperation are helpful in preventing and combating this form of violence.

The author of the article is Sophia Balamoutsou, psychologist and counsellor at the Union of Women Association of Heraklion, Crete, Greece.

The purpose of this report is to describe several best practices that were identified during the course of the project. This starts with the MARVOW model itself, followed by the case studies used in the model and other promising practices.

The report can be downloaded here.

This manual provides overall training programme on violence against older people, with emphasis on the special situation of violence against older women. The manual deals with terminology used when talking about violence against elderly and provides information on future
challenges. Violence against older persons can occur in various environments, including their
homes, hospitals, assisted living arrangements and nursing homes. This manual takes a perspective on the issue in domestic settings (meaning violence by family members and trusted
people in non-institutional settings) and brieϐly covers violence occurrence in institutional settings. Violence in home and institutional settings may have different dynamics, causes, and outcomes and thus are best to address separately.

The MARVOW project partners developed an additional chapter that was added to this manual (chapter 9), to inlcude the lessons learned during the project and to offer the readers some relevant information and guidelines about including multiagency cooperation in domestic violence services.

The Training Manual in English is available here.

The additional chapter on multiagency cooperation is also available in Greek, German and Estonian.

After 2.5 years of collaboration on the #MARVOW Project, the partners held the final steering committee meeting on march 14th.

The results of the project, as well as new ideas for the future, were shared during the meeting. This project was a great opportunity to shed light on the importance of multiagency collaboration and of supporting older women survivors of violence. The stakeholders involved in the activities recognised the importance of working together and are willing to continue collaborating even further. The project partners are proud of these results, and are looking forward to continuing their collaboration!

The final dissemination conference of the MARVOW Conference took place online on March 1st from 9 am to 1 pm CET. The partners invited stakeholders and members of groups from their countries to the event, including policymakers, healthcare professionals, hospital administrators, representatives of the judiciary and the police, etc. In total, 97 participants joined the conference.

The conference was divided into two welcoming speeches, a keynote speech, and two panels. The moderator of the conference was Elena Floriani, from the WAVE Network. The executive directors of AÖF and WAVE, Maria Rösslhumer and Stephanie Futter-Orel respectively, open the conference and welcomed the participants. A minute of silence was observed for the conflict in Ukraine. The keynote speaker of the conference, Marcella Pirrone, focused her presentation on the legal aspects of supporting older survivors of violence, based on her extensive experience as a lawyer and women’s rights activist. Particular attention was paid to the Istanbul Convention and how it should be implemented to improve multiagency cooperation.

The first panel of the conference was moderated by Alessandra Pauncz, Executive Director of WWP EN, and the panelist were Cristina Fabre Rossel (EIGE), Birgitt Haller (IKF) and Bridget Penhale (AGE Platform). The panelist shed light on different aspects of violence against older women. Bridget Penhale presented the intersection between elder abuse and violence against women, and how this intersection is often neglected. Birgitt Haller presented the results from a study conducted by the Institute of Conflict Research regarding the experiences of older women survivors of violence, highlighting why it is difficult to report and to leave violent relationships. Cristina Fabre Rossel focused on the topic of femicide of older women and the results of EIGE’s data collection in Europe.

The second panel was moderated by Lydia Sandrock (WWP EN) and hosted the project partners of MARVOW: Maria Rösslhumer (AÖF), Sandra Jovanovic (WWP EN), Pille Tsopp-Pagan (WSIC) and Sophia Balamoutsou (UWAH). The project partners had the chance to present the activities done at the national level, including the challenges and the promising practices. WWP also included the point of view of perpetrator work, and how this should be included in multiagency cooperation.

After each panel, the participants had the possibility of asking questions, and interesting discussions followed the presentations.

On September 6th and 7th 2021, the MARVOW partners finally met in person for a steering committee meeting. Around 20 people from the six partners organisations joined the meeting.

During these two days, the partners discussed many important points, such as the implementation of the MARVOW model in Austria, Estonia and Greece, how to improve it and how to effectively include the work with perpetrators, best practices and policy recommendations, the future of the MARVOW model and the final conference, that will take place at the beginning of 2022.

The meeting was extremely productive, and the partners are looking forward to collaborating further and to improving the support to older women survivors of violence.