How can we train people to understand domestic violence?

That is an interesting description of domestic violence as it happens between people who should be bound by either love or friendship. I believe we should focus on generational peace education at family level. If parents value peace, practice, experience and teach it to their children, these children will grow as peaceful women and men who will pass on their character to the next generation. So we should focus on “producing” the first generation of peace-educating parents, then we set in motion an intergenerational chain of peaceful women and men. This is the only way we can put an end to domestic violence.

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It’s true that most of unreported domestic violence are perpetrated by people who are family members, spouse and relative. Most of domestic violence are based/rooted on traditions and practice of the certain community. Training should be conducted to both leaders and youth. We should train leaders/community elders /religious leaders who are influential in communities on the domestic violence and its effect to the community. When these leaders will act and start speaking against domestic violence and taking action on the incidences of domestic violence it is easy to for organizations to use different forums available in community to pass the message. This can be during village meetings, different campaigns. The second option is to target youth by establishing forums in schools. Train youth on their rights, domestic violence being unacceptable and against the laws. The advantage of youth is that its easy to change mindset they grow up understanding human rights and respecting them.

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Domestic violence in most cases happens in domestic settings. The major cause of domestic violence is the power imbalance between women and men where men have been placed at the top and women at the bottom thus creating inequality.

I do agree with Wigayi, there is need to identify and train influential people in the community on domestic violence such as religious leaders, police, elders, health workers, and local council leaders emphasizing the benefits of violence free relations/homes, concepts of violence and its negative impact on women, their families and communities.

Secondly, perpetrators of Domestic Violence should be engaged as change agents to bring about changes in the perpetrators’ attitude and behaviors hence reducing domestic violence.

Lastly, there is need to support communities to understand their own beliefs and cultures and fostering them to appreciate the power that lies in the very community to prevent violence against women.

Safe Homes, Safe Communities.

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Well Kou,we have to make people understand those things we refer to as domestic violence …Many people still believe that beating on wife/girlfriend is a normal way of life.Continue awareness is the way forward …Thanks for the topic. Eleane.

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Haai everyone i am from far-flung area of Pakistan where every wife,daughter and mother facing domestic violence, their husband,father and son slap them,beat them badly even for minor mistakes like she put more salt in the food.Honor killing is very common thing but unfortunately women folk don’t mind it even they don’t know that it is violence against their basic rights because she don’t have any idea about their legal rights.

Remedial measure should be taken like awareness sessions conducted in community level where lectures about basic human rights should be delivered and leaflets regarding legal rights and in case of violation of these rights expected punishments and addresses of nearest police station, some Pro bono lawyers and any local civil society office and contact details are mention their that in such any case the victim should contact them for remedy.

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Awareness raising is critical in changing behaviour and attitudes regarding domestic violence. Some people perpetrate violence against their spouses and girlfriends because they believe that there is nothing wrong with beating their spouse because it is a way of disciplining them.They argue that in terms of culture and tradition there is nothing wrong in “chastising” their spouse or girlfriend… It is therefore important to target custodians of tradition and culture and equip them with knowledge on what the law says regarding domestic violence.These custodians of tradition and custom who are usually chiefs , village heads and headmen can then play the role of community champions through raising awareness and urging their communities to refrain from using violence to settle disputes.

The use of Alternative dispute Resolution methods by those offering legal assistance can also help in enlightening perpetrators on the unlawfulness of their conduct and the sanctions that are there at law. In my line of work I have noted that sometimes when you bring conflicting parties to the table to discuss issues they end up coming up with resolutions which ensure that there is peace in the family.

Legal sanctions in cases of domestic violence can also play an instrumental role in raising awareness amongst communities that violence is a crime.Thus if a person is charged and convicted of committing domestic violence this can have a deterring effect in a particular community.The downside of this approach however is that it may lead to the breakdown of marriage particularly in cases of married people.

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Great discussion of an important topic, thanks for starting @koudorkago. I especially appreciate the advice of working with local leaders (religious figures, chiefs, police, elders, etc.), working with youth and on the family level to influence cultural practices, and the idea of working with perpetrators too - great suggestions!

We are very close to publishing an online training resources guide that will have a large section on DV and GBV training resources and best practices. I would also mention that in our How to develop a community paralegal program resource guide, you can select “Specialized skills” on the left-hand menu, and then “Gender issues and vulnerable populations,” there are great training resources, tips and best practices that can be very useful for this issue.

Some notable examples from the resource guide are:

I know that’s a lot, but there are great resources out there on this subject (and even more to come and in the guide above). Hope that is useful!

Michael

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Hi @koudorkago! Your topic is very much a hot topic at today’s context. I am from Bangladesh and I work with a NGO named BRAC. I work with Human Rights and Legal Aid Program (HRLS). We have a separate committee to address this issue. This committee is known as VAWC ( Violence against Women and Children). Under VAWC 6 programs are involved and these 6 programs work together from their own capacity. VAWC is working at two pilot areas of Bangladesh. The works done by VAWC are awareness raising at the root level, counseling for survivors, legal aid service etc. For example one of the program of this VAWC, is HRLS. HRLS has a component name Human Rights and Legal Education (HRLE) course. Through this course women from grass root level receive basic legal education like dowry, marriage, child marriage, divorce, land, inheritance, domestic violence etc. Also at LCL workshops (Local Community Leader) conducted by HRLS, we discuss the issue of domestic violence. Another program Community Empowerment Program (CEP) raise awareness by popular theater. Women who is a survivor of domestic violence can come to VAWC for help. However BRAC has plan to design training modules to include men or male members of a family.

I agree with @Wigayi. Conducting LCL workshop did not bring any change to the society. This needs to be practiced in home from a very early age. As @BarbrahBisikwa correctly said, safe home, safe community.

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Very important and interesting topic. I do agreed with everyone views especially those views that looked at training at the household level couple with national laws that will make the national government to have that will power to implement these laws to the fullest. Training and national laws in this issue should work together in achieving zero tolerance on Domestic Violence. For example in Liberia, before the passage of the Domestic Violence Act of resent which most people do not even know what is in it, DV was consider either as simple or aggravated assault that was not even consider as an issue whenever a victim takes the case for redress at the community level or at the police station. It should also be address from the tradition stand point where traditional DV is seeing as a right of the perpetrator. For example economic violence where if the father has problem with the mother will refuse to provide for the family and if becomes a case, the mother will be blame for the father’s action which should not be the case.

Interesting while we as paralegals or justice providers are fighting for zero tolerance on DV, some victims unknowing see it to be a form of love. There are some women in Liberia who see beating as been a sign of showing love not as violence.

Continue engagement with parents, community and religious leaders, students, youths and women groups and even we as service providers through awareness is the way forward.Believe it or not some service providers are sometimes more perpetrators. Some are only providing these services so as to put food on their tables not for change or passion for what they do. They are the silent most dangerous ones and there is a need to keep check and balance on them.

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I agree with @BarbrahBisikwa. We need to design training modules and engage opinion leaders alongside the vulnerable groups

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Yes its a good suggestion and solution of the issue too.

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The community will understand domestic violence by Doing advocacy though radio, tv’s, theatre arts and through training various stake holders particularly traditional leaders and local government leaders. Some of these violence are rooted in cultural beliefs. Other communities do take these violence as inborn and conventional. so the more you engage in training, the less the domestic violence and vice versa.

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Hi everyone thank you for your contribution. Domestic violence happens worldwide. now we are learning from the verious comments you guys posted

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Bonsoir à tous,

Juste reprendre à la question de comment éduquer la communauté sur les violences domestiques; dans un premier temps, développer des stratégies de communication, provoquer peut être des rencontres de causerie-débat ou focus-groupe autour des thèmes similaires sur la vie de couple tout en présentant les avantages, les inconvénients et les textes juridiques qui tiennent à la vie conjugale et au processus de non violence. Et aussi procédé par les méthodes de sensibilisation, information, éducation et communication. Merci!

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The topic regarding domestic violence is a very crucial one especially in especially in family settings.There is need to create awareness among the communities through community sensitization meetings and also training of stakeholders involved in sensitizing the communities through workshops and during these training workshops,issues of domestic violence should be incorporated in the discussions.This will help create awareness to a great extent.

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Hello Everyone, Nice discussion on this thread. I am of the opinion that with issues of Gender Based Violence E.G Domestic Violence and Rape, we have spent so much time, energy and resources focusing on women and girls. We teach them how to recognize, how to report, who to report to and when to act. The truth is, we have left out the key people in programming against GBV for too long and these are the men and boys themselves(perpetrators). I believe that while we continue to respond in the ways we know how to respond, time is now over ripe for us to talk to and educate our male folks on positive masculine relationship. We need to focus more on the men and boys who should be the ones speaking against GBV. Instead of teaching our girls only about protecting themselves from being raped, we need to also talk to our boys about not raping anybody. We need to show them the consequences and we need to get them to stand up for and speak for vulnerable people. In addition, we need our Imams and Pastors to start talking and treating issues of domestic violence as crime instead seeing them as simple and ordinary marital dispute that gets mediated .

  1. This can be achieved through identification of the most prominent voice on such issues and further empowering them through training to carry on.
  2. work with youth group to hold continuous engagement on such topics in their communities
  3. Study and Understand the justice system of the society and work with them to build accountability into their system. in addition suggestions shared by other contributors before me.
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Great contribution! I fully agree with everything you wrote, especially focusing on educating the boys, where? Of course in the family setting, long before taking it to imams and pastors. Let us, as fathers, educate our boys into good and honorable manners and sound relationship with opposite sex. This is the only way we can raise a generatin of citizens with strong human values including respect for our mothers and sisters. Remember, it is better to educate a child than trying to repair an adult…

Thanks

Édouard

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The issue of GBV is a crime against human rights. Ending it needs long term comprehensive strategies through improving punitive actions and penal codes of violence against women at regional and continental level. The only proper approach to train people to understand this subject is to adjust curriculum of educational institutions through adding this subject GBV, into the curricula. Awareness raising is another effective way to learn people the subject in terms of consequence, penal codes, and underlying causes.

Thanks.

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All approaches are favourable. Am thinking of our children growing up respecting and appreciating human rights with respect to this conversation on Gender Based Violence. We could discuss with our relevant Ministry of Education department and the teachers service commission to have GBV incorporated in the syllabus maybe under social studies or whatever subjects that different countries have. Other than the family the school is the biggest influence and acts as a an important change agent. Hence this would breed a generation that understands the negativity if GBV and shuns away from the practice.

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Fatima I agree with you and your observation for me is the way we to go if we are to win the battle against GBV. How do we for example as Law and Development Association LADA in Monze of Zambia do that? We will need financial and Technical resources to do that.is there any source we can pursue for funding