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proFem's journey of change in the Czech Republic

Department 58 – International Relations
Department 58 – International Relations


proFem's journey, supported by the EEA and Norway Grants, is a testament to the power of collective effort in creating meaningful change. Founded in February 1994, the organisation began as a consultant centre for women's projects, playing a vital role in empowering women's organisations across the Czech Republic. Evolving over the years, proFem's holistic approach includes providing legal and social counselling, advocacy, and educational efforts to prevent gender-based violence.

tým proFem


Recognising the stark reality that every second woman encounters some form of sexual violence or harassment, and every tenth woman is a victim of rape, ProFem is establishing the first specialised Center for Victims of Sexual Violence.

54 % of women over 18 have experiendced at least one form of secual violence or harassment in their lifetime - that´s every other woman @proFem

This centre, a milestone in meeting the Council of Europe's standards, will offer a comprehensive suite of specialised services, including residential crisis assistance, legal advice, psychotherapy, and support in criminal-legal proceedings. Integral to this project is the collaboration with a Norwegian partner, the Norwegian Crisis and incest center in Fredrikstad, whose role in capacity building through training has been pivotal. By working together across organisations, proFem has been able to enhance both the effectiveness and sustainability of their support, focusing on empowering victims and reducing the risk of further trauma. “The uniqueness is that all services are in one place. It reduces the barrier in the use of follow-up services. Just going to the police can be a big barrier. The collection of genetic material for criminal cases is very unique," explains Jitka Poláková, Director of proFem.

The EEA and Norway Grants visiting the proFem project 


"The support from the EEA and Norway Grants has enabled a significant shift for our organisation: towards establishing the first comprehensive center for victims and survivors of sexual violence",  Jitka Poláková, Director of proFem.


Simultaneously, proFem is engaged in a vital awareness campaign to debunk prevalent myths and stereotypes about sexual violence in the Czech society. This campaign, crucial for both societal understanding and victim support, involves educational exhibitions and media collaborations, aiming to reshape public perception and reduce both the incidence and impact of sexual violence.

@proFem Exhibition

Empowering voices, healing lives

proFem's strategic shift towards direct intervention emerged as a response to the grave situation of gender-based violence in the Czech Republic. Their pivotal role in legislative reforms, such as the introduction of the concept of domestic violence into Czech criminal law, underscores their commitment to systemic change. proFem's multifaceted services offer survivors of domestic and sexual violence confidential counselling, intervention centres, and crisis intervention, demonstrating their unwavering support for those in need.


"There is no comprehensive centre for victims and survivors of sexual violence yet in the Czech Republic. It's therefore important for us to have partners from Norway and Iceland to learn from their methods", says Eva Michálková, Head of Communication and Fundrising, proFem 

The organisation's EEA and Norway Grants-backed projects are part of a comprehensive strategy to tackle domestic, gender based and sexual violence from various angles. Their educational and awareness campaigns against sexual violence stereotypes, the establishment of a specialised centre for sexual violence victims, and the development of a platform for assistance to victims highlight proFem's innovative approach. These initiatives not only provide direct services but also foster societal change.

@proFem New Centre

International challenges 

proFem's international collaborations, like their study trip to Iceland and partnership with Stígamót (the Icelandic centre for survivors of sexual violence), as well as their cooperation and visit to the Dixi Ressurssenter in Norway has enhanced their expertise in aiding sexual violence victims. The fight against domestic violence transcends national borders, emphasizing the importance of international collaboration, as exemplified by proFem's work. By sharing knowledge, resources, and best practices with organizations in different countries, proFem not only enriches its own approaches but also contributes to a broader, global strategy against domestic violence. 

“The support from the EEA and Norway Grants has enabled a significant shift for our organisation: towards establishing the first comprehensive center for victims and survivors of sexual violence, enhancing multi-disciplinary cooperation, and fostering a more sensitive and less prejudiced society. These developments are important steps in improving the overall support system for victims of sexual and domestic violence, and we wouldn't have been able to achieve this without the EEA and Norway Grants,” says Poláková. 

Regiostars proFem

proFem was recently awarded a significant European recognition for their innovative work in aiding victims of violence. The REGIOSTARS award serves as a testament to their effective strategies and the impactful difference they are making not only in the Czech Republic but across Europe. It highlights the importance and effectiveness of their work in a broader context, showcasing their efforts as a leading example in tackling complex social issues related to violence against women.



Link to proFem