As Juliane Kieslinger, Head of Corporate Communication at Deutsche Wohnen SE, explains, “We want our tenants to be able to feel safe in our properties. A flat should be a place of refuge, but sadly this is not always the case. And this is why we would like to offer specific and individual help to people who find themselves in difficulty. We have been involved in this area for some time now via a variety of projects – and most recently via this §25/11 project, which provides easily accessible support to victims of domestic abuse. Particularly over the Christmas period, which is an especially challenging time this year because of the corona pandemic, this campaign is both worthwhile and necessary.”
The idea and its creative implementation comes from the Berlin agency group PEIX. As Patrick Held, Chief Creative Officer of the PEIX Health Group, points out, “We want to go to where domestic violence is a problem and show where people can get help. Getting landlords involved is an effective way of raising awareness of this issue. It also means that we are destigmatising the problem of domestic violence.”
Elke Ihrlich a divisional head with responsibility for the anti-violence work of the Catholic Women’s Social Service, adds, “Every day tenants look at the display board in the entrance area of their apartment building as they walk past. And victims or supporters can see there the vitally important helplines provided by the Catholic Women’s Social Service. Moreover, victims can see that this is a well-known problem and so feel less ashamed. They no longer have to research on the internet secretly and in fear.”
Mechthild Rawert (SPD), member of parliament in the German Bundestag and member of the parliamentary committee on the law and consumer protection, comments as follows: “Domestic violence is a matter of concern to us all. With the Istanbul Convention we have undertaken to support comprehensive preventive measures, to extend victim protection and to tighten up on the criminal prosecution of such offences.
I welcome the campaign “§25/11 – a house free of domestic violence” enthusiastically. After all, it shows that domestic violence is not a private matter. Everyone should stand up and be counted. As neighbours, we promise those affected ‘You are not alone. There is help and support.’”
As one of the major private landlords in Germany, Deutsche Wohnen takes its social responsibilities seriously. The company has been involved in the fight against domestic violence for years, and it supports women and children who have had to seek refuge in safe houses from domestic abuse. In this context, Deutsche Wohnen collaborates with a variety of charities and associations that provide support to women in difficulty. Since 2013, for example, the company has made housing available to the Berlin charity Hestia e.V., which helps women and their children who are affected by domestic violence to find a new home. This year, Deutsche Wohnen also became a partner in the campaign #sicherheim, which is giving publicity to the taboo subject of “domestic violence against women”.
Deutsche Wohnen has also been working with the Catholic Women’s Social Service since 2019 and is involved in the “Housing First for Women” project, which enables homeless women to have a safe life free of violence in their own home. In the first year of this collaboration, the company was able to make around 20 flats available to this project.
Deutsche Wohnen is one of the leading publicly listed residential property companies in Europe. The business focus of the company is on managing its own portfolio of residential properties in dynamic metropolitan regions and conurbations in Germany. Deutsche Wohnen sees itself as having both a social responsibility and a duty to maintain and newly develop good-quality and affordable housing in vibrant residential neighbourhoods. As at 30 September 2020, the portfolio comprised a total of around 165,700 units, of which 162,700 are residential and 3,000 commercial. Deutsche Wohnen SE is listed in the Deutsche Börse’s DAX and is also included in the leading indices EPRA/NAREIT, STOXX Europe 600, GPR 250 and DAX 50 ESG.