FJC Europe Funded by the EU FJC Europe

European Alliance
for Hope and

We are the European Network of multidisciplinary approach
of genderbased, domestic violence and child abuse and
Family Justice Centers

7 June 2022, De Doelen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands

Report 4th International Family Justice Center Conference

“Intimate terror, a severe form of gender-based violence”

Study-visits to Filomena (Rotterdam), Sterk Huis (Tilburg) and Fier (Leeuwarden), 8 and 9 June 2022

The 4th International Family Justice Center Conference was organized by the European Family Justice Center Alliance, the City of Rotterdam, Veilig Thuis Rotterdam-Rijnmond, Filomena (Center Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Rotterdam-Rijnmond), Fier and Sterk Huis.

The 1-day conference focused on ‘Intimate terror’, a very severe form of gender based and domestic violence. Intimate terror has a major impact on victims and their children. In the approach of domestic violence, we notice that intimate terror often last for a long time and that continuity in the approach is not always guaranteed.

Intimate terror is characterized by large imbalance of power in the relationship and by compulsive control of one partner over the other, by restricting freedom, isolating and using severe physical and psychological violence, including sexual violence. The victim and the children constantly feel threatened and unsafe. 220 participants of 15 countries attended the conference (180 live, 40 online).



Report of the activities

Plenary sessions:

Bert Groen and Pascale Franck, executive directors of the EFJCA, opened the conference.

Alderman Judith Bokhove (City of Rotterdam)
Alderman Judith Bokhove of the hosting City of Rotterdam, responsible for Mobility, Youth and Language, welcomed the participants and illustrated how the City of Rotterdam contributes to tackle gender-based violence and domestic violence, expressing the importance of this policy to make a difference for survivors

Voices are the most important ambassadors to bring out the message that we do have a big responsibility towards victims of gender-based violence and their children. Shanti Jagmohansingh is the author of 'De Kier', a captivating novel born of the tragic death of the young Zafira Khan in Rotterdam. She testified about domestic violence, in particular the problem of hidden women.

Selina Ligero experienced severe violence in her childhood and youth and shared with the public how the system didn’t help her, and what is needed for survivors to be heard and helped.

Triene-Mie Lecompte was a victim of intimate terror for 20 years and shared her story of survival. She wrote a book 'When love becomes survival – the many faces of intimate partner violence'

Recognition and acknowledgement of intimate terror
Anne Groenen, head of the Center of Expertise Resilient People at University Colleges Leuven Limburg, researcher and lecturer at KU Leuven explained the importance of recognition and acknowledgement of intimate terror

Pilot project Intimate Terror
The Dutch FJCs Sterk Huis, Fier, Filomena and the EFJCA work together on a pilot project Intimate Terror, on behalf of the Dutch Ministry VWS and the Program team “Violence Belongs anywhere”. Pascale Franck, Gerda De Groot and Serife Cetin talked about the first stage of the pilot and the training and plan of action now being developed to better respond and prevent further escalation of intimate terror.

The story of Filomena
Christine Clement, coordinator of Filomena Center Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, took the audience into the story of Filomena, the new one-stop-shop for a new one-stop shop approach to combat domestic and sexual violence in both children and adults in Rotterdam

European Commission
Katalin Szilas, Seconded national expert at European Commission, DG Justice and Consumers, Gender Equality, outlined the next steps on European level, and especially the proposal for the directive on combatting violence against women and domestic violence.

Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development
Dorothy Adams, Secondee at OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development), gave an update of the initiatives, actions and strategy of the OECD to bring gender-based violence and domestic violence on the policy agendas

In Control. Dangerous relationships and how they end in murder
Jane Monckton-Smith, professor of public protection at the University of Gloucestershire and author of the book ‘In Control. Dangerous relationships and how they end in murder’, taught the participants how intimate terror can end in femicide and brought insight in the 8 steps in this process.

U.S. Alliance for Hope International
Casey Gwinn, President of U.S. Alliance for Hope International, brought the FJC-movement worldwide in the picture and talked about the importance of an integrated, multidisciplinary approach of gender-based violence and domestic violence, with focus on empowering survivors

Gael Strack, Chief Executive Officer of the Alliance for Hope International and U.S. national expert on domestic violence and strangulation, told the participants about the relationship between non-fatal strangulation and coercive control, with specific attention to staged crime scenes

If you once knew
Hilde Van Mieghem, documentry producer and film director, made a three-part documentary series about domestic violence for the Flemish channel Canvas: Als je eens wist/If you once knew (2019-2022). During the conference she showed a compilation of testimonies of survivors of intimate terror

Hope and Empowerment
Casey Gwinn and Gael Strack pitched the importance and power of Hope and Empowerment: the core of trauma-informed care that makes the difference for survivors

Break-out sessions:

A In control. Dangerous relationships and how they end in murder
by Jane Monckton-Smith (expert coercive control in relationships) and Susan Haile (expert in intimate homicide) (English)

  • PDF Jane (will follow soon)

B Intieme terreur: werken met slachtoffers
by Ilona Brekelmans en Saskia de Veld (beiden GGZ-psycholoog) (Dutch)

C Intimate terror: working with perpetrators
by Arno van Dam (professor antisocial behaviour, psychiatry and society at Tilburg university) and Madeleine Rijckmans (psychotherapist and mental-healthcare psychologist at the forensic clinic Fivoor) (English)

D Trauma informed care for children affected by domestic violence and child abuse
by Casey Gwinn (President of the Alliance for Hope International) (English)

E Psychopathology and intimate terror
by Trees Kelder (mental-healthcare psychologist at Fier) (Dutch)

Round-up By Bert and Pascale: take aways of the conference

  • Take-away-survey (will follow soon)

Study visits 8 and 9 June:

8 June, 8-10pm: Breakfast session @ Filomena, Center for Domestic Violence and Child Abuse, Rotterdam-Rijnmond
The 38 participants learned about the brand-new Center Filomena: a multidisciplinary partnership in the field of domestic violence, child abuse and sexual violence, working closely together under one roof, in a one-stop shop setting. The cooperators of Filomena shared their vision and approach and exchanged knowledge with the participants.

8 June 12-16pm, Visit @ Sterk Huis, Tilburg
Sterk Huis provides a warm and save place for women, children and men who are victims of do- mestic violence, child abuse, sexual violence, honor related violence and human trafficking. The 44 participants got to know the women’s shelter and the variety of possibilities provided. The team members shared their knowledge and experience and exchanged experience with the participants.

9 June 12-16pm, Visit @ Fier Friesland, Leeuwarden
Fier offers assistance to children, young people and adults who are, or have been, confronted by violence such as domestic violence, sexual violence or honor related violence. The study- and work visit gave the 30 participants a deeper insight in the work of Fier: f.e. the anonymous shelter Blijf, the psycho trauma center that is specialized in diagnosing and treatment and the Center for Child Human Trafficking.

Photo-impression of the events