This Life Without Violence
This Life Without Violence team started the program by consulting with communities. We listened to and learned about their concerns and challenges with domestic violence. This helps us to understand how we can best support community members in addressing this endemic social issue. Keo Narath, Program Coordinator
For the last twelve years we have asked Cambodian communities about the most serious challenges they faced, and domestic violence has always been one of the three things they were most concerned about. This is no surprise. One in three Cambodian men admits to having used violence against a partner in the past, indicating the scale of the problem. Of those women who experience violence, just 24% seek any help, perhaps because a shockingly low 8% of Cambodians are even aware that domestic violence is a crime.
We know that this violence blights whole families and prevents whole communities from progressing as far as they could, so we work with community leaders and local authorities, including police, so that they are ready to assist those families dealing with violence. We also provide case management support and run support groups, all while making an impact at a national level, reaching 4 million Cambodians with our social media driven campaigns to raise awareness of the law on violence.
We know that working together is the only way we will end this global problem.
What is the aim of the program?
To reduce the incidence of violence against women and children in Cambodia and its destructive impact on women, girls, children, families and communities.
What activities do we run?
- We provide training for lower secondary school students on understanding VAW&C and building healthy relationships and support Student Councils in target schools.
- We mobilise communities to address the risk factors and impact of domestic violence on families and communities by conducting community awareness raising events/ activities and an annual 16 day Social Media Campaign to end violence against women.
- We deliver training modules for local authorities on key VAW&C topics, support relevant Local Authority meetings and exchange and evaluation sessions to improve roles and responsibilities in domestic violence prevention and response (including conflict resolution and mediation).
- We case management support for at-risk families or families experiencing a crisis situation due to violence against women and children and development of referral pathways for families receiving support through the program.
- We conduct district mapping and community consultation to identify existing child and family support services, protective mechanisms and referral pathways, and establish a directory of services and support at commune and district level for victims of VAW&C.
- We enable the development of local support groups for families impacted by domestic violence and provide technical support to women’s and men’s groups at the Commune level.
What are the program outcomes?
- Student Councils and teachers are able to support students using the skills and knowledge learnt from the training on healthy relationships.
- Reduced rates of violence against women and children experienced within the duration of the program.
- Enhanced local-level community engagement of vulnerable, at risk families.
- Improved understanding of respectful, healthy relationships in youth/students and the wider community.
- Strengthen understanding of violence against women and children, child protection issues and the law on domestic violence at the national level.
- Changes in attitude towards the causes, impacts and solutions for violence against women and children, and child protection are experienced in target communities and wider society.
- Strengthened cooperation and collaboration of service providers, local authorities and police across the target communes and districts.
- Increased self-reported rates of understanding in the community against the baseline data on violence against women and children, child protection issues and the support and services available to them.
- Commune authorities (Commune Council, Village Chiefs, Police, CCWC and Village Health Support Groups) have increased confidence and capacity to carry out their roles in respect to Violence Against Women and Children (VAW&C).
- Communities have increased awareness of what VAW&C looks like, the impact it has and how to address it at a community level.
- Family Support Groups provide counselling, support, information and referrals to families who have been impacted by VAW&C.
The program had its roots in research we conducted in 2014: Community Views on Violence Against Women in Chi Kraeng Commune . Both social and economic factors, like drug & alcohol misuse, gambling and poverty together with gender inequality and gender norms, were viewed as the primary risk factors contributing to domestic violence. Following on from the research we piloted “Community Responses to Violence Against Women and Children”, in 2016.
- 20% of women report experiencing domestic violence in Cambodia
- 33% of ever partnered men in Cambodia have perpetrated physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence against women
- 50% of Cambodia’s children experience at least one form of violence before the age of 18