Raising awareness is vital in GBV prevention. Thus, we were delighted to be invited to participate in a rally organised by the Source of the Nile Seventh Day Adventist Church at the end of August calling for an end to violence against women.
WORI staff joined forced with other local women’s and community organisations and groups with links to the church to raise their voice in the name of ending violence. The march route carried more than 300 activists through the centre of Jinja and along one of the main roads into the city, ensuring as many people as possible interacted with our message. Youth groups also participated, which is vital in ensuring young people grow up informed and empowered to act on violence whenever and wherever they see it.
After the march, our Executive Director was invited to give a presentation reinforcing the need for GBV awareness and prevention. Across 3 sessions, Rose covered different forms of GBV, effects of abuse on survivors, and most importantly how communities and individuals can work together to report violence, hold perpetrators accountable and change attitudes towards accepted violence against women. The 120-strong audience shared many questions and personal stories of violence they witnessed or experienced, and it was wonderful to see the collaborative attitude towards tackling violence as a community.
Awareness raising is such a central part of ending violence. Education and information empower individuals to recognise violence when it happens to them or someone close to them, which is the first step in changing attitudes towards GBV so violence is no longer tolerated or accepted. During the sessions, the audience also learned how they can act as individuals, within their families and as part of the larger church and local communities, creating action on all levels to end violence against women for good.