Club of Sudurland (Iceland)
In May 2020, the members of the Club of Sudurland (Iceland) started a large-scale project that addresses several Soroptimist goals: the eradication of violence against women, women’s empowerment and gender equality. To make a sustainable contribution to the local community in South Iceland, they have opened a service and care centre for women victims of domestic violence. This facility also provides training on gender-based violence.
With the Victory Hills project, Soroptimist Sudurland brings together regional and state actors and NGOs to improve services, awareness and coordination in the fight against violence against women. From detailed project and budget development to finding partners and grants, to training volunteer members to run the reception and welcome desk at the centre, to hiring professional staff, to public relations work, it took the Icelandic Soroptimists ten months to lay the foundations for their project. Thanks to the unwavering commitment of the club members, Victory Hills opened its doors on 20 March 2021.
In the early days, there was some reluctance among the local female population to use the centre, but social services, the police and the medical centre in South Iceland frequently and continuously send patients.
The Sudurland club can count on the University of Iceland to help them conduct a professional and independent internal and external evaluation to obtain statistics on the use and benefits of their project. This should also provide a solid basis for future decision-making by the local authorities and their partners regarding the funding of the Victory Hills Centre.
“It is amazing for me as a victim of domestic violence to get therapy for my trauma not only for free, but here in my hometown and not having to drive for hours over a mountain. Well done!”