Violence against women and domestic violence is never just a family issue or a local community issue, but a social and legal issue that needs to be addressed and redressed. Once COVID restrictions were relaxed in Meghalaya, our Outreach Workers from West Khasi Hills restarted their work to bring awareness on the issue. We were able to organise programmes focusing on the rise of VAW during the pandemic. In order to highlight the issue and get the community to respond to cases of VAW, programmes on DV and Women’s rights were organized in three villages, Nongriat, Ranapbah and Wahliewlong, of the West Khasi Hills District, on 21st and 28th September, 2021. Participants included women, the Village Sordar and Secretary of the village, including male participants.
The aim of the programmes were to enable both women and men understand domestic violence and VAW, the various laws available to women, and rights that women have. The ORWs felt the need to involve male participants in the programmes so to bring about a change in their behavior and perspective. The community has to work together in bringing about this change where violence against women is not acceptable and the rights of a woman are acknowledged.
The participants benefitted from the programme. They expressed how such information increased their awareness on their rights and entitlements, VAW, Domestic Violence and legal services available.