The loss of home, livelihoods and future opportunities putare putting heavy stress on displaced individuals and families in displacement. Unfortunately, these factors often increase domestic and gender-based violence (GBV) among families – not only in Jordan but in most crisis-affected regions. Policy makers and humanitarian organizsations therefore seek for ways to reduce and prevent events of gender based violence – CRP is one of them. But recently, we didn’t stop with just the programs at our Family Resource and Community Center. Our board president Melinda Wells and GBV consultant Suhail Abualsameed have recently published a book chapter discussing research on the root causes of gender- based violence and the strategy CRP adopted in tackling this issue.
After hearing reports from community members of Concerned by community members reporting increasing levels of domestic violence, CRP
started to encourage them to identify in identifying and openly discussing gender- related problems. Suhail and MelindaThe authors state in their article that in order to end domestic violence and achieve gender equality both men’s and women’s knowledge, attitudes and behaviors need to change. An important step is therefore to include men in training and education programmes that prioritize women’s safety.
CRP created safe spaces for women as well as support groups for men. In addition to creating safe spaces for women, men’s support groups were therefore put in place. These aim at releasing some of the tension that the burden of providing for displaced families in displacement puts on men— – stress that often contributes to violent behaviour. Special circles where men can talk about their problems have since become an integral part of CRP’s evolving GBV prevention work.
“Our experience shows that programming has the most impact when beneficiaries define the issues they want to address themselves,” argue the authors. This also prevents organizations from “parachuting” outside beliefs and values into the community (forcing outside or culturally-irrelevant ideas onto a group). Instead, CRP uses workshops to engage community leaders as mobilizers of gender awareness amongst their peers and families.
In addition, CRP also assessed gender- related attitudes and knowledge among community members as well as volunteers and staff. The research revealed not only the support of the community for gender related programming but also highlighted important differences along ethnic and religious lines in attitudes about gender. This shows how important it is to understand and pay careful attention to the specific socio-economic, cultural, and situational problems different members of the community face. CRP wants to take the experience it gained through its work with the community forward, with the hope of putting an end to gender- based violence at home.
To read more, you can find the book here.
Wells, Melinda; Abualsameed, Suhail (2018): “Acknowledging and Addressing the Risks of Gender-Based Violence that Follow Refugees Across Borders: Escalation of Domestic Violence in Refugee Populations” In Shekhawat, Seema, and Re E. C. Del. Women and Borders: Refugees, Migrants and Communities.