This profile was prepared when Monika Grochova was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2000.
The New Idea
Monika emphasizes that the problem of domestic violence is social rather than a result of the characteristics of individual men and women. From this conviction, she has built Fenestra, an organization that relies on trained, highly motivated volunteers to provide comprehensive psychological and legal services to battered women. At the same time, they are addressing underlying issues of gender equity. The services Fenestra offers include crisis assistance and consultancy, counseling, legal advice and advocacy, and support groups that empower women to realize independent lives and overcome the abuse they have suffered. Monika aims to equip women with a liberating and empowering understanding of the societal root of their problem to help them overcome the trap of gender stereotypes in what continues to be a principally patriarchal Slovak society. The services Fenestra provides are anonymous, secure, free and accessible.