Roks, the National Organisation for Women’s Shelters and Young Women's Shelters in Sweden, is the largest member organisation for women's shelters and young women's shelters in the country. Roks aims at safeguarding the common interests of the shelters in their work against male violence towards women.
Roks strives to shape public opinion, and actively works to make the public aware of the reality that the shelters face, as well as conduct outward dialogues around the issues concerning the shelters. There are currently around 100 women’s and young women's shelters within the organisation.
Roks is a feministic organisation working on the rights of women’s and young women's rights and liberation, as well as equality on all levels.
The Women’s Shelters
Each shelter is independent with its own working methods. However, what all the shelters have in common is an emergency helpline where women and young women can call if the need support. All callers can choose to remain anonymous should they so wish, and no one is registered.
The women’s shelters offer support based on the individual needs and wishes of each woman. Perhaps she needs to talk about her situation and her current relationship. She might even need advice about a police report or a custody dispute. It could also be about being the victim of sexual abuse, either recently or several years ago. The women working at the shelters provide conversational support and advice and can also go along as support when visiting the police, lawyers and social services for example. Many shelters also offer sheltered housing for women and their children.
A number of shelters also have a separate legal hotline. Some shelters have text telephones to cater for women with impaired hearing. Other shelters specialize in receiving adults subjected to incest.
The Young Women's Shelters
There are approximately 30 young women's shelters within Roks, of which around ten are independent organisations. The young women's shelters work in much the same way as the women’s shelters, but turn to younger women who, for example, have been subjected to threats, ill-treatment and sexual abuse, or, for some other reason, need to talk to another girl. They also actively work towards making the public aware of the girls’ living conditions. The Young Women's shelters have their own web site at www.rokstjejjourer.se
Working at a shelter
Most of the people who work at the shelters do so on a voluntary basis. In order to be accepted at a shelter you must first attend a study circle arranged by the shelter. Contact your local women’s or girls’ shelter if you are interested in becoming a staff member.