Against Gender Violence: Armenian NGOs sum up 16-day awareness campaign

Against Gender Violence: Armenian NGOs sum up 16-day awareness campaign

Photo: Via Facebook

Not all are aware of what domestic violence is, how to respond to it, what negative impact domestic violence has on women and particularly children, say representatives of the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women.

The coalition, which embraces seven non-governmental organizations, in addition to its daily fight, every year joins in a 16-day world campaign, Activism Against Gender Violence, to raise public awareness about problems the organizations involved in the coalition are trying to solve. This year the campaign was launched on November 25, and ended on December 10, International Human Rights Day.

Within the framework of the campaign the Women’s Rights Center, which has already for 18 years been dealing with violence, has organized an open-air travelling exhibition “Domestic Violence through Children’s Eyes”.

“Children’s pictures in our exhibition were divided into three thematic groups, in which the dreams and the perception of family of domestic violence victim children were reflected. It was held in the open air and all passers-by could see and even be aware of it. The most important aim of the campaign was to raise awareness,” Kristine Petrosyan, the head of the Women’s Right Center, told media at the Media Center in Yerevan on Thursday.

Petrosyan said that they, by a letter, had also appealed to the government to involve them in the process of discussing the law on prevention of domestic violence.

“This is very important because these NGOs have been working on this issue for a long time, and have both some experience and knowledge, and it would be very important that our experts also cooperate with state institutions on this important law-making process,” said Petrosyan.

According to Marine Adamyan, a representative of the Society without Violence NGO, the absence of the law on domestic violence prevention has a very negative impact on families and women as a vulnerable group. She is convinced that if there is a relevant law, there will be fewer complaints, as well as preventive steps and fewer cases with fatalities.

“We have repeatedly said that during these five years more than 30 women died, which is a terrible figure for our small country,” added Adamyan.

The motto of this year’s 16-day campaign was Peace to my Family.

“We wanted to show that we want to start with a family and to call on the whole world for peace, given these global trends and these war situations around the world,” she said.

All the organizations involved in the campaign also conducted classes for both their beneficiaries, and for those dealing with gender issues.

The Real World, Real People NGO that deals with the problems of people living with HIV, has conducted numerous training courses for their female beneficiaries.

“Women with HIV are also subject to violence, and, unfortunately, they mostly face hidden forms of violence,” said Zhenya Mayilyan, a representative of the NGO.

“We also shot a film. I was present at the shooting process. I observed a very indicative situation, which showed extreme indifference in our society: a man was beating his wife in broad daylight in the street [as part of the film] and only four or five people approached. Those were only few who witnessed the scene. People were very indifferent. They did not want to react in any way,” she added.