The crisis shelter PAPATYA

The anonymous crisis shelter PAPATYA

The crisis shelter PAPATYA is a refuge apartment with a secret address. Girls and young women, who need to escape from their families because they are being threatened can find protection and help there. In the last 30 years over 1,800 girls and young women have stayed at the crisis centre.

PAPATYA have room for up to eight residents between 13 and 21 years of age. They are looked after around the clock by Turkish, Kurdish and German social workers and a psychologist. The stay at the centre is temporary. The goal is to develop a safe and long-term perspective for each resident’s life.

The girls and young women stay in one, two or three bed rooms. They are provided with food, necessary sanitary and cosmetic items and some essential clothing. The daily routine at PAPATYA is on the website of the crisis shelter.

Can I go to PAPATYA?

Yes, if you are a girl or young woman between 13 and 21 years old and are being threatened by your family.

There are several reasons to be taken in by PAPATYA. You can go to PAPATYA if:

  • you are being threatened with forced marriage or have already been forced to marry
  • your family is threatening you because of the “family honour”
  • you are being put under pressure for example through controls on your movement, or you are forbidden to go out or go to school
  • you are suffering from physical, psychological or sexual violence
  • you are pregnant and no-one must find out about it
  • you are lesbian and your family does not accept your sexual orientation
  • you feel unloved, excluded or rejected by your family
  • you are afraid of being sent to your country of origin against your will by your family

Before a possible acceptance into the crisis apartment the staff will speak to you by telephone and explain the rules that apply at PAPATYA. If you are still a minor, the Youth Office has to take you into their care before you can come to the crisis shelter.

What happens when I am at PAPATYA?

At PAPATYA you will find protection from threats and persecution. In the safe apartment no-one will be able to find you and you first find some peace. Together with the staff we will seek a solution for you and your situation. In this PAPATYA works with the Youth Office and other responsible government agencies.

The solution for each resident is different. It is possible that you will be placed in a group apartment or a single apartment with staff caring for you. It is also possible that you can return to your parents or other family members if you want to do that. Sometimes a move to another town is necessary in order to be safe from your family.

In the crisis shelter you will get advice and help for all your worries including health, residency in Germany, school and further educational training. If you are still being persecuted, the staff will advise you about not giving information about yourself and living anonymously.


Voices of previous residents

The months at PAPATYA were the most helpful in my life. At the beginning I was shy, but here I became self-confident and could learn about my other sides and show them.

Edita, 17 Jahre

From the first day I was with you, I felt good, as if it was my second home, and indeed it was that. I felt myself to be in a real family, which I had never really had. You were there for me when I needed someone

Elif, 15 Jahre

In total, I was at PAPATYA for just over two months. If I had to say how I have changed, I would say that I have become stronger, more patient and freer. My hope for the future is that one day I can change what is expected of women in my culture. At PAPATYA I learned that women can do anything!

Yasmin, 16 Jahre