Our history

is characterised by voluntary commitment, staying power, and by loud and soft words.

There's still plenty to do, and we want to achieve even more for the women and girls in Bergisch Gladbach and the Rheinisch-Bergisch district.

We're looking forward to everything that's to come, and we enjoy looking back proudly on all that we've achieved.


September: An article about the women's advice centre appears in the yearbook "Rheinisch Bergischer Kalender 2017".

August: As part of the project GewinnGesundheit® Rhein-Berg the women's advice centre presents the exhibition "Warnsignale - Und das soll Liebe sein?" in Bergisch Gladbach district hall (24.-31.08.).



Presentation of the exhibition "Warnsignale - und das soll Liebe sein?" (warning signals - and that's meant to be love?) to mark the 30th anniversary of the women's advice centre (in VR Bank Bergisch Gladbach and Kürten Rathaus). More to the 30th anniversary.

Participation in NRW state-funded project to support traumatised women refugees.

The women's advice centre stages a conference entitled "Alles nur psychisch!? Auswirkung von häuslicher Gewalt" (All in the mind!? Effects of domestic violence).

Frauen helfen Frauen e.V. celebrates its 30th anniversary with a stories café. The focus is on the association's "herstory", told by women from their different perspectives. Today the association comprises three organisations (women's refuge, women's advice centre, girls' advice centre) with a total of 11 staff.


The women's advice centre becomes part of the NRW state-funded project ASS (anonymous forensics) in hospitals for women who have suffered violence.


The women's advice centre organises a conference entitled "Häusliche Gewalt gegen Frauen mit Zuwanderungsgeschichte: kulturelle Hintergründe und gesundheitliche Auswirkungen" (domestic violence against women with a history of migration: cultural backgrounds and health consequences).

The girls' advice centre receives funding from Deutsches Hilfswerk to set up an online girls' advice centre. Funding for the new project runs till 2017.

The women's refuge is extended to include a bathroom, a consulting room and a multi-purpose room on the ground floor. Funding is provided by Deutsches Hilfswerk and other donors. The women's refuge now has space for nine women and their children.


The women's advice centre starts working with the state-funded project "Gewinn Gesundheit" to improve health care for women women affected by violence.


The women's refuge turns 20.

The girls' advice centre sets up the working group for girls and young women in Bergisch Gladbach and the Rheinisch-Bergischen district.


The association becomes part of Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft (LAG) Mädchenarbeit in NRW e. V. (NRW working group for work for girls).



The women's advice centre starts running external surgeries in Overath.

The association opens its third organisation, the girls' advice centre. The project receives funding for three years from "Aktion Mensch", "Software AG", the Bethe-Stiftung and donations.

The women's refuge is extended: Three rooms, a kitchen and two bathrooms for women and children are added. This expansion enables each woman to have her own room - fundamentally important to the recovery of the heavily burdened women and children.


Plans are laid to add an extra storey to the women's refuge, using the proceeds from the sale of the house bequeathed to the association in 2004.

The rental agreement with the city of Bergisch Gladbach is converted to a leasehold agreement. This is a condition for receiving a subsidy from the Deutsches Hilfswerk.

"Für ein Leben ohne Gewalt gegen Frauen" (for a life without violence against women) is the title of this year's campaign by the women's advice centre. Several women create a life-sized "NANA" that is presented in different places in following years.

The women's advice centre starts running external surgeries in Kürten and Rösrath.


The women's refuge buys a nine-seater minibus with a grant from "Aktion Mensch". The minibus makes it easier for women to shop or move to a new flat. It can also be used for leisure activities for mothers and their children.

The women's advice centre adds online advice to its services, funded for two years by the DHW-Stiftung.


The flat bequeathed to the association in 2004 is sold. The proceeds are earmarked for the "purchase of living accommodation for women subject to violence and their children" (see 2009).

The women's advice centre launches a poster campaign in the district entitled: "Hinsehen - Hinhören - Handeln bei Gewalt gegen Frauen" (Look - Listen - Act on violence against women).


The women's advice centre is 20 years "young" and celebrates the anniversary with the travelling exhibition "Mein Beitrag - Eine Seite gegen Männergewalt" (My contribution - a page against male violence).


20 years of Frauen helfen Frauen e.V.: There are celebrations in the pedestrian zone with music, coffee and cake... and a large public response.
The association has two centres (women's advice centre and women's refuge) and employs ten full-time staff.

In keeping with new NRW guidelines, the women's advice centre takes on intervention counselling as covered by the Protection Against Violence Act.


The association inherits a flat from a private individual with the condition that it be used for the "purchase of living accommodation for women subject to violence and their children".


The women's refuge is repoened following the fire.

The women's advice centre expands with a move to Hauptstraße 155, Bergisch Gladbach.


Due to the increased demand for specialised advice services for girls, the association successfully applies for recognition as an independent youth welfare provider. The goal is to develop services for girls.

The women's refuge takes on intervention counselling as covered by the Protection Against Violence Act, carrying it out in the south of the Rheinisch-Bergisch district.

In July a fire destroys the second floor and roof framework of the women's refuge. The refuge remains closed for renovation until December.

2001 - 2000

In the women's advice centre the demand grows for specialised services for girls.

The garden of the women's refuge is redesigned for children, and playground equipment is installed. Donations and financial support from the city of Bergisch Gladbach make this possible.

1999 - 1998

Working conditions are improved for the staff of the women's refuge: the offices are equipped with new furniture and a new computer. This provides more capacity for supporting women affected by violence and their children.

The women's centre is renamed women's advice centre.

1998 - 1997

Conversion work takes place to give the children who live with their mothers in the women's refuge a proper children's room to replace the previous provisional facilities. The work is funded by the city of Bergisch Gladbach and through donations. The children's area gets new furniture and play equipment.

1997 - 1996

The rooms and kitchen at the women's refuge get new furniture, and a first (second-hand) computer is organised for the office. Restructuring the rooms provides space for a consulting room where the women can speak with staff undisturbed.


The women's centre moves into new premises in Bergisch Gladbach's pedestrian precinct (Hauptstraße 182).


The association and its centres get a new logo. The advice centre says goodbye to the "Hexenkessel" name.

A year of major successes:

The women's centre is recognised by the NRW federal state as a general women's advice centre and granted funding. Its chief topics are violence against women, separation and divorce, eating disorders and sexualised violence.

The women's refuge in Bergisch Gladbach is opened and included in NRW funding for women's shelters. Eight women and their children are taken in, though some women have to share a room.
Rooms, kitchen and office are fitted out with donated furniture, some of it second-hand. The staff of the women's refuge only have one room that has to serve as an office and a consulting room.


The first safe flat for abused women and their children is rented.


The project "safe flat for abused women" starts.
Two part-time staff are employed through a job creation scheme (ABM).



Advice sessions increasingly show how urgent it is to establish a safe area for abused women.


The association becomes part of Landesarbeitsgemeinschaft (LAG) autonomer Frauenberatungsstellen in NRW (NRW working group for autonomous women's refuges).

The consultations run by the social education workers show a clear need for a safe space for abused women. A first attempt to set up a women's refuge in Bergisch Gladbach fails due to political opposition. Renewed efforts follow.




December: The association rents rooms of its own: the "Hexenkessel" women's centre opens in Gartenstraße 5 in Bensberg with two full-time staff. The graduate social education workers are employed through a job creation scheme (ABM) and offer individual consultations, talks, groups and a drop-in meeting point.


January: A weekly meeting session for women is set up in the DPWV youth café. Advice sessions are offered in the secondary school, made possible by volunteer women.





Autumn: First advice, talks and discussion events offered by volunteer women as part of "Offene Tür" (open door) and DPWV.


May: Frauen helfen Frauen e.V. founded, based in Bergisch Gladbach and serving the Rheinisch-Bergisch district, under the umbrella of Deutscher Paritätischer Wohlfahrtsverband (DPWV). The aims of the association are to advise, support and encourage women.
Its goal is to establish a communication centre for women.