As Michael Zahn, CEO of Deutsche Wohnen SE, explains, “We don’t just want to provide our tenants with housing, we want to provide them with a safe home as well. This is why we have, for years now, been supporting women and their children who have experienced violence within their own four walls and who would like to start a new life. We think it is absolutely necessary to do even more to make this problem public and to make further offers of help available to the people affected by it.”
#sicherheim is a digital platform that is using a publicity campaign to raise awareness of the problem of violence against women – at a time when the number of victims is constantly rising. The campaign intends to show women who are victims of domestic violence a way forward and to encourage them to look actively for help. In addition, it intends to raise general public awareness of this issue – and to discourage looking the other way. A further key element of this initiative is to provide active support to organisations and associations that provide women in need with help and refuge. The website sicherheim.org helps to make these charitable organisations more visible and accessible.
For many years now, Deutsche Wohnen has been cooperating with various charities that support women in need. For example, it has been supporting the accommodation service provided by the Berlin charity Hestia e.V., which helps women and their children who have been affected by domestic violence to find somewhere new to live. In the last few years alone, Deutsche Wohnen has been able to provide more than 50 flats in support of this initiative. Since the beginning of 2016, Deutsche Wohnen has also provided housing as a partner of the Caritas project “NeuRaum – housing after the women’s refuge”. And since 2019, Deutsche Wohnen has been actively involved in the project “Housing First for Women”, which is run by the Catholic Women’s Social Service [Sozialdienst katholischer Frauen – SkF] and enables women who used to be homeless to live in a safe and non-violent environment within their own four walls.
The initiators of the project are the actor Natalia Wörner, the CEO of the film company UFA Nico Hofmann, its producer Marc Lepetit, and Tom Daske and Klaus Rehm from the Berlin marketing and PR agency Die Botschaft. The campaign has also received support from Dr Franziska Giffey, the Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth, and from the following associations: the Bundesverband Frauenberatungsstellen und Frauennotrufe (BFF), an organisation of emergency helplines and counselling services for women, the Central Information Office for Autonomous Women’s Refuges (ZIF) and the Association of Women’s Shelters [Frauenhauskoordinierung e.V.].
Deutsche Wohnen is one of the leading publicly listed property companies in Germany and Europe with a business focus on managing and developing its portfolio, which consists mainly of residential properties. As at 31 March 2020, the portfolio comprised 164,300 units in total, of which 161,500 were residential and 2,800 commercial. Deutsche Wohnen owns flats in four Berlin Modernist estates, which were declared UNESCO world heritage sites in July 2008: the White City Estate, the Horseshoe Estate in Britz, the Carl Legien residential estate and the Ring Estate in Siemensstadt.