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

Megan Denise Smith

    Mercy´s story reflects how violence is generational and normalised in Mercy´s family and community. There are deep rooted beliefs that violence is just a part of life and being married which will pass down to children and violence against women will continue. Prevention is crucial to challenge some of these harmful gender norms, break this cycle of violence and promote healthier relationships and positive coping mechanisms otherwise it will continue unchallenged. Addressing the root cause, like the scenario of the diarrhoea in the community from the water source, is key to make any inroads on challenging violence against women.

    Violence against women needs to be discussed, like in the project in Rwanda, these discussions need to be had among women and men, especially couples to start to challenges these beliefs and harmful gender norms. Working with men and boys is key, conducting awareness raising, creating spaces for dialogues with key stakeholders in the community who have influence like community and religious leaders, working with groups like husbands, fathers, teachers and so on.