Reflect and discuss: Why prevention in Mercy’s story

Home Forums Prevention Essentials Refresher Discussion Board Session 3: Prevention Reflect and discuss: Why prevention in Mercy’s story


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    Violence in the context of Mercy’s community is that people get sick and die due to a very preventable disease. As we know that Mercy and most women in their community are the designated carers of the sick and the rest of the family members, including making sure that their homes are also clean. However, no matter how Mercy and the women try to provide treatment by giving boiled rice water with sugar and salt, these disease will still continue to spread unless they get to address the cause of the problem, which need the collective action of the community leaders, advocates and everyone else in their community. Like the practice of proper handwashing and disposal of human wastes and other water sanitation and hygiene practices, that everyone in their community must be able to do.

    Getting to the root cause of their community problem needs a systemic approach and will involve their leaders, advocates and everyone else. The installation of a safe and potable water system is one and possibly the installation of sanitary toilets in every home and teaching every one, adults and children alike to do proper handwashing practices and over-all hygiene and when to do these.

    Since women and mothers have been considered as the primary producers of health in the homes and communities, these actions in the community can help ease up the burden of women on taking care of sick family members and keeping their homes clean.

    Atusaye Nyondo

    Why is violence prevention important for Mercy’s community?

    Violence happening in Mercy’s family is just a ‘tip of the iceberg or a silent epidemic’ in her community considering normalization of violence in the community. Violence Against Women and Girls in Mercy’s community contravene women and children’s rights and undermine development in the community. The economic costs of VAWG include the reduced economic earning power of women and girls and increased costs of providing services for survivors of violence. For instance, evidence shows that education and household wealth are strongly, negatively associated with both acceptance and experience of intimate partner violence. Therefore, violence prevention is very important because it addresses the structural causes, as well as the risk and protective factors, associated with violence and this is pivotal to eliminating violence against women and girls completely. Prevention is the only way to stop violence before it even occurs.

    Which activities could prevent violence against women in her community

    Interventions on VAWG prevention (as opposed to response) should be strengthened with more attention given to changing social norms and behaviours, reducing exposure to childhood abuse, tackling power imbalances (i.e. using power as the entry point rather than gender, interrogating both its positive and negative uses), increasing women’s economic empowerment, working with men and boys and with researchers. The activities should engage men and boys on harmful masculinities, including use of violence.

    Amenan Tanou

    In Mercy’s community we can mention physical, sexual, emotional violence including the economic violence she undergoes . Violence prevention is important because people (women and girls ) live with fear. no one deserve to leave with fear. people need to fell safe.

    Batamuliza Gloria

    What I know about Mercy’s story is that she faces violence (Emotional, physicals, economical, psychological but she tries to protect her children not to experience violence and also she is trying to cope with that live style she is living buy trying to look for solutions herself to keep her family.
    Violence prevention is important for Mercy’s community so that violence can be eradicated for present and future generation as well as female in the community but also for social change where men/boys need to change for better. This will bring community development, women / girls participation in community development, less/ no health issues to women and men, little offences to perpetrators.
    Some of the activities to prevent violence in Mercy’s community could be community discussions, focus group discussions (men. women, youth, local leaders…), workshops, campaigns, use of media, talk shows, use of artists, discussions in schools and curriculum on gender equality with includes violence prevention.
    One example of a violence prevention activity is; Community discussions for both men and women and youth on the issue of violence in their community, its consequences to individual, families and the community in general and how all should be responsible for the solution in fighting violence so that women and girls be able to enjoy life as men as well as contributing to the development of the community.

    Amenan Tanou

    All community members deserve to leave without fear, women and girls need specific attention because they are leaving with fear of movement.

    Amenan Tanou

    violence prevention is key in promoting people rights because it is fundamental that people live without fear. Violence has a lot of consequences on the individual, families and community as a whole. It is health threatening issue. Prevention of violence is important because people (women and girls) live with fear; Violence can prevent development in the family; injuries can prevent someone to go to the farm; bad use of family’s income can increase poverty etc.

    Awareness targeting specific group age or sex, Encourage/put women in decision make at the community level that will influence the family level one; government and non-government structure should be concern by these actions through training and discussion sessions in the communities.

    Amenan Tanou

    It will help to bring people around some discussion , questioning so that some solution/idea com out.


    1. Violence prevention is important in Mercy’s community because Mercy taught it could be good to look for solution and get responses to stop people from getting sick, rather than treating them when they already ill.

    2.Activities could prevent violence against women in Mercy’s community:
    – The Whole community work together to take action.
    – Burring waste human far from the river.
    – Washing hands with soap after taking care of sick people.
    – Sterilizing water before using it.
    – Setting up safe water supply and sanitation facilities.

    Example of violence prevention activity:
    – Training your children about gender equality since they still young.


    1. Violence prevention is important for Mercy’s community because it is good for all the community to look for solutions and get responses together to stop violence solutions and modifying physical and social environment; get positive health outcomes; and help community to commit themselves in preventing violence.

    2. Activities that can prevent violence against women in her community:
    – Engage Men in prevention of violence against Women.
    – Promote positive health programs.
    – Include school based approaches.
    – Organizing meeting with community; share ideas with them and teach them about gender equality.

    example of an activity that prevent violence:
    Teaching your children about gender equality since they are still young.

    Melissa Benson

    To stop the cycle that will continue.
    Education is required for men about VAW, equal power, understanding, compassion.
    Until the cycle is broken then the violence will continue.

    The behaviours are a learnt behaviour from children to adults.
    Children learn from there parents and carry this forward to their adult life and see it as normal and acceptable.

    Until this preventative measures are put in place then the power balance will remain unequal.

    Langi Malamba

    The general normalization of violence in many forms, such as physical, sexual, economic etc was rife in Mercy’s community.
    Prevention is very important because it is solution focused and creative to preempt future reoccurrences of episodes of violence. Properly thought through prevention programmes will have education and awareness for the affected survivors and the alleged perpetrators ; the supporters, collaborators and generalized others such as family members, church groups, community activists, clinic staff etc.
    Prevention activities
    Properly thought through prevention programmes will have education and awareness activities for the affected survivors (women and children) and the alleged perpetrators ; whistle blower activities for the supporters, collaborators and generalized others such as family members, church groups, community activists, clinic staff etc. Drama activities to simplify and demonstrate how VAW manifests and affect family life. Advocacy and social mobilization activities to lobby policy makers is also critical to ensure legal instruments are implemented in the best interest of survivors . The community successfully decreased high mortality rates due to cholera using community mobilization strategies and lobbied government in the water and sanitation sector to install toilets and portable water systems which completely eliminated cholera.

    Joan Lanyero

    In Mercy’s story the violence is socialized, looked at as a norm and accepted in a way as the trend is from generation to generation -her mother’s, her own but also happening during her daughters time. Its perpetrated in the private and public sphere by individuals but also the community as they were not really acknowledging it as a vice and doing something about it. People live in fear like Mercy feared for her daughter’s life and was doing everything in her power to protect her.

    Violence prevention is vital and compared to the story of diarhhorea prevention as we realise that Mercy’s bold step to do something about it actually can impact on others and the community can change. So change starts with you and trickles down to the community but also flags that prevention is everyone’s responsibility as violence hurts everyone in the community

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