A special service center for victims of abuse will open in Reykjavík soon, according to a press release from the City of Reykjavík. The center has been given the name Bjarkarhlíð and will be located on Bústaðavegur. The goal is for the service center to be a safe haven for women and men who have suffered sexual abuse, abuse within relationships, or for those who are victims of human trafficking and/or prostitution. At the center, adults will be given coordinated service and appropriate consultation.
Guðrún Jónsdóttir, spokesperson for Stígamót, the education and counseling center for survivors of sexual abuse and violence, told RÚV, “This is a dream we’ve had for many years, to better coordinate and greatly improve service for victims, and this is an important step in that direction.”
Reykjavík Mayor Dagur B. Eggertsson, Minister of Social Affairs and Housing Eygló Harðardóttir, Minister of the Interior Ólöf Nordal, Reykjavík Metropolitan Police Chief Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, and representatives from several organizations fighting for victims of abuse signed a statement today, expressing their support for the establishment of the center.
People who have suffered abuse will be offered free interviews and consultation from social workers, police, grass roots organizations, and other participating organizations, according to RÚV. Emergency services will be offered, where, for example, police can bring in individuals for reports and refer them to social workers and other service providers.