Liberia: Diaspora Women for Change Launches SGBV Awareness Kit
MONROVIA – Diaspora Women for Change, Inc., DWC, in collaboration with Alliance for Liberian Women International launched a gender-based violence awareness skit on February 14, 2020 on Hot FM, 107.9. The skit brings awareness of the negative effects of violence against women and children and promotes a healthy relationship that consists of positive communication, mutual respect, and non-threatening/violence behavior.
The awareness message debuts on Hot FM, 107.9 during prime time. It will be aired at least 3 times a day. Eventually, the anti-violence against women and children’s message will be translated in other Liberian dialects, as well as, played on other media entities including social media in Liberia and in the Diaspora.
On December 7, 2019, Diaspora Women of Change, Inc., and Alliance for Liberian Women International, Inc., under the leadership of Dr. Francien Chenoweth Richardson and Ysindi Martin Kpei, respectively, hosted the “All Liberian Women Conference” in Atlanta, Georgia. The conference met the organizations’ goal of increasing knowledge of gender-based violence in Liberia and in immigrant communities in the Diaspora. The anti-violence message that will be broadcast on radio stations in Liberia and on social media in the Diaspora is consistent with goals of the organizations. The next Women’s conference is October 24, 2020 in Claymont, Delaware. Proceeds from the conference will go towards psychosocial interventions for victims of abuse. Last December, Dr. Francien Chenoweth Richardson, a licensed psychologist and professor of Psychology, visited Liberia; She distributed personal alarm keychain to women and children. The personal alarm helps a woman who is in danger. When the panic button is pressed, it emits a loud and constant alarm to alert people nearby for help.
Diaspora’s Women for Change, Inc. and Alliance for Liberian Women International, Inc encourage the celebration of healthy loving relationships, it is noteworthy to highlight that at least 30% of women will experience physical or sexual violence perpetrated by her current or former partner or husband. Specific to Liberia, an exploratory study by the NGO Consortium in 2015 investigated the pattern of social attitudes of 1,100 schoolboys and 758 school girls. Findings from the study showed that: 75% of boys and 22% of girls agreed that “ men are superior to women;” 46% of boys and 34% of girls agreed that sexual violence and abuse is a “ normal part of a man-woman relationship;” 39% of boys and 30 % of girls agreed that “ sexual abuse and violence against women and girls is a natural expression of male’s sexual urges. The anti-violence against women and children advocacy organizations hope that the media advisement will positively influence the mindset of Liberians toward healthy relationships.
A healthy relationship should have more “good days than bad day.” Every relationship will have stress, but it is important to prevent prolonged mental stress on either member of the relationship. Signs of a healthy relationship include but are not limited to, good communication, trust, and mutual respect, anger control and non- threatening /violence behavior.
According to the World Health organization, violence against Women have many significant long- and short-term effects. These effects include a higher risk of injuries, poor sexual and reproductive health and mental health. Reportedly, women who are abused by their partner tend to suffer from depression and are likely to acquire sexually transmitted infection. These health consequences do not only affect the women for also their children, communities and societies.
Diaspora Women for Change, Inc. is a US based non- profit organization established to bring awareness to violence against women and children and to provide psychosocial interventions in Liberia and in immigrant communities in the Diaspora.