Event Review: Shantona Domestic Violence Awareness-image

Event Review: Shantona Domestic Violence Awareness

07 Dec, 2017

To mark the annual worldwide 16 days of activism against violence against women Shantona hosted a domestic violence awareness event on day 5, Wednesday 29th November. Domestic violence is still a huge problem worldwide and across all cultures, though it can be more prolific in poorer communities, ethnic minorities and third world countries.

The aim of the 16 days of activism project is to highlight these issues and to oppose all violence and abuse against women and children and to raise awareness of the negative impact that it has, with a view to rid society of abuse permanently.

Devastatingly, according to a new United Nations report, one in three women around the world will be raped, beaten, or abused during their lifetime. No woman is safe from domestic violence no matter what country or culture she lives in.

By organising our event our goal was to educate women about the dangers of domestic violence and to raise awareness of the issue so women can learn to stand up for themselves and for each other in the face of abuse against their friends, families and children.

The day began by helping the women understand the various types of domestic violence and the impact it has on individuals, families and societies as a whole. This was followed by the women taking part in group workshops that discussed the culture and statistics of domestic violence in the following localities and circumstances:

Bangladesh

Pakistan

India

UK

Impact of domestic abuse on children

The results from the workshops were then presented by each group that gave all attendees a clear understanding of the severity of the problem of domestic violence around the world. You can see some of the results in the slideshow below. It was very interesting to see the differences in the types of domestic violence in the various localities and also the reaction of some of the participants about what qualifies as abuse against women and children.

Some participants were of the understanding that domestic violence doesn't happen in some of the countries studied until we helped to make them aware of the scale of the problem in those areas. This event helped to make a huge difference to the ladies awareness of the issues and they left with a better understanding of domestic violence.

Two survivors of domestic violence bravely spoke about their experiences and how they managed to escape the situations they found themselves in and ultimately took back control of their lives with help and support from Shantona, as well as a rousing speech from a male supporter who renounced all violence against women and offered support of the 16 days of activism campaign.

We were inspired by the enthusiasm of the women who attended the day and our team are honoured with the feedback that we received:

'A very informative session raising awareness of domestic violence and where people within the community can go for support. It was great to hear the work Shantona does and the stories of survivors. This raises awareness for more women to come forward'

'There should be programmes with men to help them understand and also help married couples'

'I really enjoyed the event and I think that it was great for women, but there should be more help and support for children and also men should be provided with support who have abused women. It was fantastic to hear the stories from the survivors'

'It's good that people know about the help and support available for them. They shouldn't suffer in silence'

Shantona has helped 64 women and their families in the past year resolve their issues with domestic violence, but these are just the only families who have come forward for help. Domestic violence is clearly still an area in which support is needed and we hope to reach more families by raising awareness at more events like these.

If you are scared, if you are not sure of where to get help, if you need to talk to someone about what is happening at home, we are here for you. You are not alone in this battle. At Shantona we have an open-door policy and we understand the culture you are coming from; we understand your religion and we are happy to support you to make the changes to your life and to say no to violence.

From all at Shantona.

Leeds Domestic Violence 24 Hour Helpline: 0113 2460401

National Domestic Violence Helpline: 0808 2000 247

National Men's Advice Line: 0808 801 0327

 

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  • 'I came to the UK five years ago that time I wasn't able to speak any English. By attending Shantona women centres ESOL courses two years at the moment I am studying GCSE English with Thomas Danby College. Also, I'm involved in childcare volunteer with Shantona. I have done ESOL entry one and two, childcare level one, let's play together, story sacks numeracy which was provided by Shantona women centre. I would like to thank Shantona for helping me improve my confidence. Also, I will suggest people like me should come to Shantona and attend the activity they are providing and support them to go further.'

    Previous service user now a volunteer worker at Shantona's creche

  • 'I used to walk past Shantona all the time without knowing what they did, until one day I was referred through social care services. I received support and realised there were other women just like me and that I wasn’t alone and my bad relationship experiences were not normal. I joined in with DV awareness raising sessions and workshops, they made such a huge difference and helped me regain my confidence enough to start speaking out about my own experiences of DV during the '16 days of action' event.'

    Adult Service User

  • 'I have learned how to stay safe online and using social media. I have become more confident to talk about my problems with my support worker and my self-esteem is increasing'

    Young People's Service User

  • 'At first I accepted that forced marriage was part of the cultural norm, but now I realise that it is wrong'

    Young People's Service User

  • 'I have seen changes in the students, the students are considering the bigger picture more and other aspects of issues affecting them. When challenged about their views or behaviour I see a more reflective student as before. I see Shantona's role as an external agency that can provide targeted intervention for groups of our young people who require closer attention. School do not have the expertise and knowledge to provide such material at the level and intensity that Shantona can.'

    Sat Hundal Deputy for Behaviour & Safeguarding Allerton Grange School

  • 'I feel much happier and confident that I’m getting my life back on track. I have started to attend groups to help expand my knowledge and make new friends.'

    Adult Service User

  • 'When the girls started to come to the girl's group all they were interested in was turning 16 and being able to get married…now they realise how important their education is and are looking to the future and thinking about going to University and getting jobs. Through informal education, we have raised their aspirations'

    Youth Worker

 
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