Bawso works with Black and Ethnic Minority communities (BME) by building their capacity and improving their understanding of harmful cultural practices including violence against women and girls. We run community based awareness sessions with women and girls; men and boys; and intergenerational sessions. The sessions are delivered with ethnic interpreters ensuring that all participants understand the topics of violence against women and girls.
Men being custodians of unwritten laws in the community and gatekeepers, are key in delivering messages in their communities on tackling domestic violence and other forms of violence including female genital mutilation, forced marriage, honour based abuse and human trafficking. Boys are encouraged to challenge the harmful practices that leave their sisters, mothers and future wives scarred for life and impact on their social relationships.
Women and girls attend separate sessions and learn the different forms of violence against women and girls and what they should do to end violence against them.
All sessions are delivered in safe spaces for women and girls and provide a conducive environment for victims to disclose and seek help. The aim of the sessions are to equip the community with the knowledge and information they need to be able to challenge harmful traditional practices and change attitudes that allow abuse to continue and go unreported. By doing this, we work on the premise that the community will understand better the impact their actions have on women and children which includes rendering them homeless, destitute and leaving them emotionally damaged for life.
We have learnt from these sessions that for us to address violence against women and girls, we need to take a whole community approach and include men and boys as stakeholders.
We also run awareness sessions in schools providing information and better understanding of violence against women and girls to a younger generation. Young people are better placed to challenge attitudes and beliefs, and move away from harmful practices. Investing in young people means that the message can be cascaded further down the information chain and produce a ripple effect in the community, hence lead a reduction in cases of violence against women and girls.
To get involved in our prevention work, please email us on firstname.lastname@example.org