As we have previously shared, #BTVPalestine was dealt a huge blow. Thankfully, Charlotte was able to return, with the help of HIRN, to finish what we started.
Not only did we manage to get a bigger group together, but men also joined women in the pursuit of change. This gave the project a more powerful voice, having both genders work alongside each other to achieve equality within their communities. Here is a quick overview of how the programme went:
1. Planning & Creation
With the research still in place, we collaborated with local actors and videographers who volunteered to create a short film. The film showcases a scene of domestic violence and signposted towards local organisations who help victims.
The film is in Palestinian Arabic as it was used by participants to deliver to community groups and their universities.
The film was then used as a tool to be embedded within the groups training sessions that would help start conversations within their communities/ universities.
The new group were then trained over three days in domestic violence awareness, presenting skills, and supported to create and deliver a domestic violence awareness training session of their own.
Of the 30 that started, 25 stuck with us through all three of the sessions and 21 out of 25 opted to attend the drop-in sessions to support them build their presentations. The main aim was to create a presentation that raised awareness around domestic violence and signposted towards support available and then organise presentations with local organisations and/or their universities. 10 agreed to deliver their presentations to community groups and/or their universities.
When asked why they came along and what worth they saw in raising awareness, they answered:
‘Build self-confidence and presenting skills.’
‘Very good way to raise awareness especially in villages and smaller communities.’
‘Wanting to be an initiator and positively impact on society.’
‘We want to reach and improve the society.’
‘I don’t want to just be a taker of training I want to make and effect change.’
‘There are a lot of people who face violence and they do not know it is wrong; I want to help society release this is wrong.’
‘Violence is harming all of us so it is our responsibility to challenge this to protect our families and ourselves. This is a humanitarian issue.’
‘We want to create a society free from violence.’
Male teacher: ‘ Kids in school suffering violence- wants to teach the boys in his class not to continue like this.’
3. Delivery of domestic violence sessions
Two participants co-delivered a training session to older women in Halhoul, an area considered particularly at risk from domestic violence. Fifteen turned up to receive the training. We received one disclosure of domestic violence and were able to signpost them towards available support.
When asked what the women’s thoughts were before and after the training they said:
‘We now know there are organisations and associations defend women’s rights and can rely on them in solving problems related to gender. Before this we thought oppressed women could only stay at home with no-one to tell.’
The women asked for the pair of BTV trainers to return to deliver the same presentation again, to a larger group. Three other BTV participants had attended the session to learn from the other two, in preparation for delivering their own sessions.
This was the first in a number of sessions the 10 plan to deliver. We are so humbled by the bravery of our participants. The fact that we had a mixed-gender group of interested individuals highlights the wish for change on both sides of domestic violence. Men too, want to stand up for women’s rights and see their society changed.
Hear interviews with two of the participants on their experience:
Follow our journey on social media and if interested please get in touch, we can explore options to bring BTV to your community.