Zero tolerance to violence in lives of children in rural areas

Zero tolerance to violence in lives of children in rural areas of BiH – pilot project

Three organisations are selected to do pilot project in the area of Novi Grad, Gornji Vakuf/Uskoplje, Livno and Bosansko Grahovo, with the aim to developed and establish model of work in rural communities, which should contribute to decrease the level of violence in lives of children in rural areas of BiH. All three organizations have presented pilot initiative to local authorities, representatives of centres of social welfare, police, local media and started direct activities with target groups in rural settlements.

In general initiative was very welcomed by parents, teachers, religious and community leaders, and all rural communities have shown big readiness to actively participate in this pilot. Pilots do find that 95% of population of rural settlement participated for the first time in those activities, and most of them were very glad to be a part of the project.

Participants, particularly women, were more open to talk about their experience in relation to issue of violence. Many participants said that some forms of violence were not recognised as such, i.e. economic, psychological, gender based violence… It is quite evident that the cycle of violence is present in the lives of families. Rural schools are very excluded from all kinds of projects, workshops, educational initiatives for the staff and pupils and they are a cry for additional knowledge.

The most challenging part of work in those communities was work with men. They know that they have the power and in general terms, the least improvements are reached with them. The biggest progress is made with children in their awareness with regards to violence. In total, 445 children and 235 parents were directly reached through this pilot initiative in selected rural areas.

It would be recommendable to gather all findings on level of those rural communities in order to create good insight to the situation and to respond accordingly to the needs and demands of specific target groups, especially to men. According to the estimates and findings based on up-to-date work it can be confirmed that:

  • 75% of women in rural areas are suffering/are exposed to violence,
  • 95% of women do not report violence,
  • 80% of women are quite about it, they do not talk about violence they suffer,
  • Schools could be good entering point in working with parents,
  • Social-emotional learning/skills can be a part of the supporting interventions,
  • Peer and gender-based violence in partner relations is an important topic that should be introduced,
  • It is important to think about supporting services and referral system to those who dare to talk and ask for support, especially to women.IMG_6789IMG_6801IMG_6787