Ruam Chuay / 16 days  / Taking a stand against interpersonal violence

Taking a stand against interpersonal violence

As a community, we’re coming together to advocate against, prevent, and respond to this type of violence.

To kick off the 16 days of activism, we want to highlight people who make a difference in our community.

Lately, we’ve been having a lot of discussions about what it takes to create social change in our community. Advocacy is often the first step. That’s why we wanted our first talking point to be what it takes to advocate for change. 

We’ve hosted a series of community-driven facilitated discussions. These discussions bring us together to explore ways each of us can be part of the solution.

An image of from one of our facilitated discussions in November 2018

2 of the key ideas that came up were:
1. Change starts with us, use your voice

If each of us does our part individually, we can make a difference collectively.

If you get an opportunity to talk about this issue. Use it. If someone says something inappropriate, question it. Day-to-day conversations can start a ripple effect and impact people’s lives.

We don’t need to stay silent in the face of injustice, even though it can be hard to speak up sometimes. (But of course, only speak up if it’s safe for you to do so).

When we speak up, we hold ourselves accountable for being part of the solution. And, help hold the people we love accountable as well.

2. Lead by example, support survivors

Gender-based and interpersonal violence is much more common than we might realize. The World Health Organization reports that 37.7% of women in South East Asia experience some form of intimate partner violence. That’s 1 in 3 women.

If someone you know shares an experience of gender-based violence, such as sexual harassment or assault, with you. Believe them. One of the most difficult things for survivors is they are often asked questions that make it seem like they are at fault for what happened.

For example, asking if they were drinking or what they were wearing. This is called victim-blaming. It causes a lot of pain and feelings of shame. Making it hard for people to want to come forward and share their stories.

We see examples of this in the media often. Particularly when sexual assault cases are discussed. For example, most recently the underwear a woman was wearing was been used as a defense in court to imply consent. They took what she was wearing and used it justify rape. No piece of clothing can give consent. Consent needs to be communicated actively and without coercion.

Challenging statements that blame a survivor for their assault, is one way you can make a difference.

It’s easy to underestimate the power of the individual, but it really does start with us.

10 Advocates for Change in our Community

Today, we wanted to share 10 women who are creating change in our communities and workplaces.

We asked each of them why this issue is important to them and what they think each of us can do about it. Here’s what they said:

On creating change

“We are so fortunate to be living in these times where there is less tolerance for sexual abuse and more courage to act, so SPEAK UP” Neenu Narula

 

“Gender-based violence, be it sexual, physical or emotional is a very real issue that is not talked about enough. Ruam Chuay is an excellent platform to help spread awareness and try to find ways to help women help themselves. Spreading this awareness is everyone’s responsibility and every little effort makes a difference. I strongly advocate encouraging those who face this sort of violence to speak up and fight against this evil in our society.” - Kitty Kokar

 

“Raise your boys to be men of quality, they will respect women’s equality” - Dalip Singhsachathet

 

“When conception and birthing is the same for all genders there is no reason for gender inequality” - Rani Chansrichawla

 

“I am passionate about ensuring that victims of gender-based violence are able to gain access to necessary legal aid in order to get justice.” - Aanchhal Dembla

 

On respect

“Self respect and dignity is our birthright, so don’t make it an option” - Ann Narula

 

“Life should not be a battle of gender equality. Humankind has lived long enough to begin to understand peace, thus respect one another to live and let live” - Nirupama Narula

 

“Self respect is a very compelling factor to make others respect you. Gender-based violence will continue if we don't teach our kids self-respect from a young age. Parents are responsible for teaching kids to be respectful human beings. It is simple things like not using the phrase “be a man” puts a lot of pressure on boys. When in reality both girls and boys should learn to think critically, to be brave, and to respect all.” - Madhu Gandhi

 

"Respect our differences because everyone is unique and different in their own way" - Sudha Narula

 

“I would like to advocate against gender inequality. Respect others so that you are able to respect yourself. Treat everyone the way you would like them to treat you” - Neelam Sachdev

 

To join our community, sign up for our monthly newsletter below. You’ll get access to resources, and ways you can get involved to help prevent interpersonal violence.

 

Ruam Chuay

Comments: 2

  • Rani November 25, 2018 9:08 pm

    Talk to people around you. Can be your staff, friends and people you are in touch with regularly. If you are able to help at least one individual, you have made a difference.

    • Ruam Chuay Team November 25, 2018 11:21 pm

      Yes, exactly! Sometimes all it takes is sharing what you know and showing your support for someone else. 🙂

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