Sierra Leone Telegraph: 28 November 2019:
The Commonwealth has announced a new partnership designed to reduce domestic violence in member countries. Secretary-General Patricia Scotland on Monday, signed a memorandum of understanding with the NO MORE Foundation which is a global movement of 1,400 allied organisations and 40 international chapters working together to stop and prevent domestic violence and sexual assault.
The two parties have agreed to work together to implement initiatives that work on the prevention of domestic violence and sexual abuse as part of wider efforts to achieve the 2030 sustainable development goals.
According to the World Health Organisation, one in three women worldwide has been a victim of sexual and/or physical violence in their lifetime, making it a leading cause of death in women and girls. Reports suggest the abuse remains largely unreported due to impunity, silence, stigma, fear and shame.
The Secretary-General (Photo – centre), said: “We must say NO MORE to violence against women and girls in both words and action.
“It affects everyone: women, men, children, persons with disabilities and people from sexual and gender minorities.
“It means we must involve and sensitise everyone to support vulnerable individuals, protect survivors of violence and bring perpetrators to justice.
“We must do everything we can to ensure every child in our home and our community grows up in a safe environment. This is the only way to fulfil our Sustainable Development Goal commitments.”
The partnership is designed to help member countries record accurate data on the prevalence of violence, deliver grassroots projects, train community leaders, educate bystanders’ responses and provide awareness resources.
NO MORE Global Executive Director Pamela Zaballa said: “NO MORE is proud to partner with the Commonwealth and grateful to have this tremendous opportunity to help end domestic violence in the 53 member countries.
“We are looking forward to engaging a wide array of governmental, business, human rights and community leaders in this initiative.
“Together, we can dramatically increase awareness and action to prevent violence and meet the 2030 sustainable development goals.”
The partnership was announced at an event hosted at Commonwealth headquarters in London, to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Officials from high commissions, businesses, human rights groups and women’s rights organisations participated at the launch of the initiative.
Domestic Violence against women and girls have been an age long problem/phenomenon. Women and girls have always been seen as vulnerable and weak. It’s really SAD and must come to an end. The challenge for society and the women/girls is how to identify and avoid their abusers. As for the International community including the Commonwealth, the challenge is to identify the causes of Domestic violence and find the solutions because, domestic violence could come from different categories – poverty, religion, tradition, personality, ideology and many more.
Also, rich and arrogant individuals also perpetrate domestic violence against women. They use their wealth and power to silence the women/girls. SAD. We should not forget to talk about domestic violence against men and boys. There was an incident somewhere in Asia where a woman after a heated discussion with the husband, grabbed the husband by the testicles and left him in pain on the ground. Is that not domestic violence? Times have change.
So when we talk about domestic violence against women, we should also talk about domestic violence against men. I firmly agree that domestic violence against women is of a higher percentage than domestic violence against men. Something like almost one to four if I am not mistaken. But we must also look into domestic violence against men to be fair. Finally, I wish the Commonwealth all the best in their mission to end DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND MEN. GOD BLESS the COMMONWEALTH.
Heads Up! The Commonwealth has come knocking on our doors again, with another impressive, thoughtful, empathetic initiative. But wait just a minute and ask yourselves: Will this new partnership of theirs with NO MORE also end up as another Pipe Dream like many others that came and went, like travellers in a barren desert accomplishing nothing of value and substance?(lol)
Wait and see, you say the change that you so anxiously desire will surely come? Well I’ve heard those memorable lines before – it was the Commonwealth’s slogan decades ago, and it is still unchanged, still uninspiring, and achieving very little, especially in Africa. Again, does the Commonwealth know that in the African continent, most of the abuses and violence that women suffer at hands of men, governments and their communities are mostly because of abject Poverty, lack of Education and influences, stemming directly from religious, tribal and traditional beliefs? Well, sooner or later we will find out – let’s wait and see. Perhaps, just perhaps, the positive change that we have been so eagerly awaiting for our people will surely come…Rising Sun Will Rise Again.