Do­mes­tic vi­o­lence un­der the spot­light

Lesotho Times - - News - Lim­pho Sello

CHRIS­TIAN re­lief and devel­op­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion, World Vi­sion Le­sotho, on Fri­day held a gen­der-based vi­o­lence (GBV) work­shop for 25 men from the Leribe and mohale’s Hoek dis­tricts as part of ef­forts to stem do­mes­tic vi­o­lence among com­mu­ni­ties.

The work­shop, which was held in Berea, was meant to equip the men with skills to re­spond to cases of GBV within their com­mu­ni­ties and fam­i­lies, ac­cord­ing to World Vi­sion Le­sotho’s Gen­der Ad­vo­cacy manger ‘ma­seisa Nt­lama.

“We also trained them on how they can avoid be­com­ing per­pe­tra­tors of GBV them­selves within their fam­i­lies and com­mu­ni­ties,” ms Nt­lama said.

She added af­ter gath­er­ing from re­ports that the GBV rate was very high in the mohale’s Hoek and Leribe dis­tricts, World Vi­sion de­cided to change its usual ap­proach of speak­ing to women only by en­gag­ing men who are usu­ally the per­pe­tra­tors. The or­gan­i­sa­tion also sought to un­der­stand from the men, fac­tors that push some of them to be­come per­pe­tra­tors of GBV.

“Bear­ing in mind that in most cases, those who com­mit GBV are men, we de­cided to bring them on board this time around,” said ms Nt­lama.

“our in­ten­tion was to get their side of the story and equip them with skills so they can re­vise their at­ti­tudes to­wards GBV.

“We also wanted to get their view­point on GBV as heads of fam­i­lies.”

ms Nt­lama added dur­ing work­shop, the men were trained on dif­fer­ent types of abuse and how they af­fect chil­dren and women in com­mu­ni­ties, high­light­ing the bit­ter con­se­quences to both the vic­tim and per­pe­tra­tor.

“The men showed a will­ing­ness to learn and fix what they had been do­ing wrong in their com­mu­ni­ties,” ms Nt­lama said.

“With our sup­port, this group is go­ing to es­tab­lish men’s clubs in their com­mu­ni­ties and train oth­ers, as well as sen­si­tis­ing their com­mu­ni­ties on the im­por­tance of end­ing GBV.”

one of the at­ten­dees, mo­siuoa Senkan­tši, lauded World Vi­sion for the “fruit­ful” work­shop, adding he had re­alised dur­ing the train­ing that some of the things he did to his fam­ily bor­dered on GBV.

“I learned that I had been abus­ing my wife and kids all along and came to un­der­stand what GBV re­ally is,” mr Senkan­tši said.

“As men, we opt to solve our prob­lems with war most of the time, but dur­ing the work­shop, we dis­cussed more ap­pro­pri­ate ways to iron out our dif­fer­ences in­stead of al­ways opt­ing to use our weapons.”

mr Senkan­tši added that they had tasked each other to come up with ideas to pre­vent GBV within their com­mu­ni­ties as men.

The trainees, mr Senkan­tši also said, had de­cided to teach other men about abuse and its con­se­quences.

“men need to learn that women are not their sub­or­di­nates but equals, which is why they must treat them with re­spect and care.”

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