Reply To: Reflect and discuss: Why prevention in Mercy’s story

Jaya Luintel

    In Mercy’s story, there are different types of violence she is experiencing- physical, psychological/ emotional, and economic. In her community, women and girls are facing sexual violence as well. Also, while watching mercy’s story and knowing the view of other women from her community, it looks like the prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence (IPV) is rampant in her community. Women in Mercy’s community are forced to accept the violence and “normal” or even as “love”. As said by Lori in her presentation, maybe Mercy’s story is just the “administrative prevalence” that came out in the form of this story. The acceptance of violent behavior is reinforced and women are neither being able to identify that behavior as violence nor name it as violence.

    Violence Prevention is important in Mercy’s community because women should be able to know that the behavior they are experiencing from their husband is not “love” but it is “violence”. As the violent behavior is reinforced, young boys are also perpetuating sexual violence and young girls are going through its consequences. When the Cholera hit Mercy’s community, with the help of scientists they found to root causes of the spread of bacteria and dealt with the root cause which saved many lives. To address the root causes of VAW in Mercy’s community, violence prevention is important.

    In Mercy’s community, there is wider acceptance of violence against women and it is taken as normal. So, it is important to start the discussion from that point. To start the discussion, the first topic for the discussion could be drop out of girls child from school. Angel could not continue her school because of the workload at home. For the activity, a teacher from the school can visit the community and have discussions ( women and men) on this issue. The discussion can be guided through a reflection process where all the members can reflect on the cause, the effect it has caused, and longer-term consequences. In the end, the group can come up with some action points to resolve this issue so that girls can continue their studies. This activity will help to initiate the discussion among the parents and then other series of discussions can be planned to talk about the healthy relationships between partners.