In the words of Yuan Feng: “Different sectors need to work together to fight domestic violence”

Feng Yuan, from China. Co-founder of Equality, a Beijing NGO dedicated to women’s rights and gender equality. Photo: UN Women/Ryan Brown

Our organization uses many approaches to fight violence against women. One is research and analysis. For example, we research how the media covers domestic violence and how the court defines it. Another area of our work is “capacity building”. [That means] we help people understand domestic violence and the degree of danger that victims face. Some people think only physical abuse is domestic violence, and we explain to them that there are other kinds of violence too. Some members of the police do not think that one-time physical abuse is domestic violence. They think abuse has to happen for a long time for it to be considered violence. We try to inform the public and the police. We also have a helpline where we women experiencing domestic violence can call to get information and support.

 

We see domestic violence in all social classes, in both urban and rural areas. But urban women have better access to services. In rural areas, women can seek help only from the informal sector. We work to improve access to services for rural women. We have also identified three marginalized groups and found partners who can help these women: women living with HIV AIDS, women with diverse sexual orientation, and disabled women. 

 

The root cause of domestic violence is gender inequality. If we do not tackle this issue, we can only solve the symptoms, we cannot treat it. The media can promote gender equality by highlighting gender stereotypes and gender prejudices and spreading awareness. They have a huge responsibility.

 

The survivors of violence encourage me to keep working for this cause. I see so much potential in these women, and they have the capacity to make a lot of difference with very little resources. If we can facilitate more resources for them, they can do and achieve more.”

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Free Yourself Global 

Our campaign Free Yourself Global explores the enculturation of violence through families over generations across cultures, and how does one, whether the abuser or the abused, interrupt the pattern of violence? Free Yourself Global is also the largest story curating exercise of its kind: recording of stories from recovered abusers, victims and specialists working in the field including NGO’s, psychologists, law enforcers and policy makers to name a few. Part of the development process includes production of an interactive digital platform where using cognitive technology to extract data from primary research, we can assess by geo-location the strengths and weaknesses in each region, mapped against a best practice roadmap. This will assist policy makers and support services world-wide to improve both preventative and services.

Funded by a combination of private equity funding and corporate sponsorship, this campaign is an example of social entrepreneurship in action. For more information on how to become involved in this breakthrough campaign, check out our website www.FreeYouselfGlobal.com and / or email info@freeyourselfglobal.com

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