Our pilot programme in Palestine was dealt a heavy blow in July: a manager from the Excellence Centre in Hebron (our partner organisation) discouraged participants from taking part in the programme.
He told one of our BTV participants that her involvement with the programme was ‘not proper’ for a young women and that she will bring dishonour on her family. If you are not aware of what such a comment can cause in a culture dominated by men and a strong traditional culture: it is detrimental.
The panic that ensued amongst the participants resulted in a stalling of the programme. Charlotte, our Director heading up #BTVPalestine, was not able to finish the project before her return to London. With a heavy heart, filled with uncertainty about the outcome of BTV’s pilot and discouragement, the team worked behind the scenes to find a solution that would allow for the programme to be finished and for the participants to continue the work they’re passionate about within their local community.
Back on track: Change of partner, no change of heart
We found a partner in Hebron International Resource Network, who had already supported Become The Voice by donating training on domestic violence in June. They covered the flights for Charlotte to return to Hebron and complete management and delivery of a domestic violence awareness programme.
- 29.6% of ever-married women in the West Bank and Palestine have faced domestic violence.
- Of the women who have come forward as victims of violence in the West Bank 0.7% have sought assistance.
- According to UNHRC, between 2010-2015, 50 women were killed by domestic violence in the name of so-called family honour.
There is support and support can save lives
BTV Palestine will now collaborate with HIRN and Mazen Alazero, who delivered some of the training and has been a great asset to BTV, to create a short, awareness-raising film. This film will serve as a training tool as well as a conversation starter for both, men and women, in the fight to end domestic violence in Hebron.
Following the creation of the film, BTV Palestine will coordinate a number of training sessions that will be delivered to relevant women’s organisations, universities and community groups by BTV participants.
Despite facing considerable opposition to women’s rights work in Hebron, Charlotte (BTV Director) remains positive:
While there are people here, driven to see change, no amount of sabotage will prevent BTV Palestine from creating a lasting, useful piece of work.
Follow #BTVPalestine on social media and join in the conversation. Domestic violence is an epidemic in every community, country and culture.