No Private Matter! Ending Abuse in Intimate & Family Relations

The votes are in and three winners have been elected. Presented in partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. You can continue collaborating around these innovative and promising ideas, now and after the winners are announced.

A cash prize of US$5,000 for the top three winners.


Winner is Announced

April 30, 2007
  • Launch
    January 8, 2007
  • Entry Deadline
    March 27, 2007
  • Voting start
    April 16, 2007
  • Voting end
    April 30, 2007
  • Winner is Announced
    April 30, 2007

Dear Changemakers Community,

Welcome to the “No Private Matter! Ending Abuse in Intimate and Family Relations” collaborative competition. This is the first in a series of Changemakers’s Collaborative Competitions sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). RWJF's aim for this competition is to find innovative solutions and to catalyze a community of changemakers to help eliminate intimate partner violence in the United States.

RWJF’s mission is to improve the health and health care of all Americans. We are pleased to partner with Changemakers to find promising solutions—from within the U.S. and around the world—that can be used to end domestic violence. The innovations surfaced through this competition, and the discussion generated around them, will help to inform any future U.S. grantmaking we may do in this area. But we also hope that the field of social entrepreneurs, researchers, health and social service providers, funders, advocates and policymakers working everywhere on intimate partner violence will benefit from this set of ideas.

We invite you to participate by entering your innovation, helping refine the strategies presented by participants, and finding ways to connect the solutions to the resources needed to make everyone a changemaker. Changemakers’s “open sourcing social solutions™” model provides a powerful mechanism for generating new innovations, innovators, and opportunities to end domestic abuse.

Domestic abuse is an entrenched problem that requires a diverse set of approaches that are tailored to the needs of affected populations. The process begins with the “No Private Matter!” Mosaic of Solutions, which outlines the central barriers and the insights to propel change on this issue. The mosaic will serve as the framework for the collaborative competition and your participation.

The title—“No Private Matter!”—is emphatic by design. Domestic abuse, intimate partner violence and relationship violence in all its forms are emphatically not private. The consequences touch us all. “No Private Matter!” wants to grab your attention and prompt as much creative problem-solving and action as you can possibly muster to prevent violence.

It was first important to acknowledge that the impact of this violence on its victims and its perpetrators is universal. This led to the competition’s core objective: to engage everyone in improving the dynamics and impact of domestic violence prevention efforts.

As part of that process, we’d like to hear from you. The competition offers you the chance to showcase your ideas and your work, and it provides RWJF a uniquely valuable and rich opportunity to learn about what solutions hold promise for eliminating domestic violence in the U.S. As a part of Changemakers’s global community of peer changemakers, we want you to help test and refine the ideas surfacing through the online review attached to each entry. This level of collaboration is what will help you surface new innovations and connect to new ideas, partners, and resources.

I’m delighted to help inaugurate this first Changemakers-RWJF Collaborative Competition, and we invite you and your colleagues and networks to participate in this search for solutions now and in the months to come.

Jeane Ann Grisso
Senior Program Officer
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Welcome to the Changemakers "No Private Matter!" Collaborative Competition, which aims to find innovative solutions and catalyze a community of changemakers to help eliminate intimate partner violence.

For more information on entering, the online review, and voting please view the competition criteria and time line below.

Eligibility Criteria
The competition is open to all types of organizations (charitable organizations, private companies, or public entities) from all countries. We consider all entries that:

    • Reflect the theme of the competition: No Private Matter! Ending Abuse in Intimate & Family Relations. The scope of the competition is actual domestic violence solutions that will benefit a significant number of people. Entries are invited from organizations in all countries and proposed solutions should inform work being done in the U.S and around the world.
    • Are beyond the stage of idea, concept, or research, and, at a minimum, are at the demonstration stage and indicate success.
    • Are submitted in English and are complete.

Assessment Criteria
The winners of this Changemakers Collaborative Competition will be those entries that best meet the following criteria:
    Innovation: This is the knock-out test. The application must describe the systemic innovation that it is focused on. For example, an entry that demonstrates innovation would be the one focused on how the Montessori education method will transform the entire field of learning, not about building another school. The innovation should be a unique model of change and ready for large-scale spread.
    Social Impact: It is important that the innovation has begun to have an impact on the field it addresses. Some innovations will have proven success at a small level, while others will have scaled to engage millions of people. Regardless of the level of demonstrated impact, it is important to see that the innovation has the ability to be applied in the U.S. and other countries. This will be judged by considering the scale strategy, ability to be replicated, clear how-tos, and a map to reach the big goals.
    Sustainability: For an innovation to be truly effective it must have a plan for how it will acquire financial and other bases of support for the long-term. Are strong partnerships in place for it to have a ripple effect? Is there a clear financial plan in place?

Competition Deadlines, Procedures, and Rules
Online competition submissions are accepted until March 28, 2007 at noon, U.S. Eastern Daylight Time. Any time before this deadline, competition participants could revise their entries based on questions and insights that they receive in the Changemakers discussion. Participation in the discussion enhances one's prospects in the competition and gives the community and the judges an opportunity to understand one's project more completely.
There are three main phases in the competition:
    January 10 – March 28, 2007: Entries can be submitted until 12 pm Eastern US time on March 28, 2007, and anyone can participate in an online idea review discussion with the entrants.
    February 10: To qualify for the early entry prize, entries must be submitted by 00:00 EST US time on February 10, 2007. Early entry prize: Be one of two organizations featured in a magazine/journal advertisement.
    March 28 – April 17, 2007: Online idea review discussion continues. In parallel, a panel of judges well-versed in the topic and Ashoka staff select the competition finalists.
    April 17 – May 1, 2007: Popular online voting to select the three award winners from the field of finalists. The Changemakers Collaborative Competition winners will be announced on May 3, 2007.

The Changemakers Collaborative Competition will include a cash prize of US$5,000 for the top three winners.
Participating in the competition provides the chance to get feedback on your model and to advise potential investors about how best to change funding/investing patterns for the sector and to maximize the strategic impact and effectiveness of their future investments. The competition will generate an Investor Advisory available to investors, foundations, and other funding agencies. Those participants whose contributions most help frame the contents of the advisory will be acknowledged and may be convened to advise investors at a global meeting

Disclaimer—Compliance with Legal Restrictions
Ashoka complies fully with all U.S. laws and regulations, including Office of Foreign Assets Control regulations, export control, and anti-money laundering laws. All grants will be awarded subject to compliance with such laws. Ashoka will not make any grant if it finds that to do so would be unlawful. This may prohibit awards in certain countries and/or to certain individuals or entities. All recipients will comply with these laws to the extent they are applicable to such recipients. No recipient will take any action that would cause Ashoka to violate any laws.
For more information, contact

Ending Abuse in Intimate and Family Relationships

(What is a Mosaic of Solutions?)

 Insights Emerging
 Innovative Solutions:
Main Barriers:

Women's Low Status
Culture of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

Aggressive Models of Masculinity
Insensitive and Unresponsive Systems
Galvanize Outrage
Hosne Ara Begum*:
Set up grassroots matchmaking and peer monitoring to end dowry system
Marianne Sidibe*:
Build national network of midwives to support female genital mutilation survivors
Andile Carelse*:
(South Africa)
Create celebrity campaigns to create public awareness
Allah Warayo Bodzar*:
Publicize honor killings with cooperation of outraged family members
White Ribbon Campaign:
Draw public attention to men's role in fighting domestic abuse
Renuka Sharma*:
Raise awareness of unrecognized victim group (widows)
Lillian Liberman Shkolnikoff*:
Use video documentaries to sensitize those working in the system to child abuse
V-Day Campaign:
Enlist celebrities and citizens in global PR and theatrical outcry to address violence against women
Purple Berets:
Publicize individual women's cases to provoke policy change
Increase Women's Power
Madhavi Kuckreja*:
Train Dalit women to be water pump engineers, giving them power and influence
Monika Grochova*:
Provide education opportunities to battered women
Mujeres Unidas y Activas:
Let women devise their own solutions
Anuja Gupta*:
Host open forums for sexual abuse survivor groups
Clothesline Project:
Use art projects to give women a forum to make their experience public
Domestic Violence-Free Zone:
Involve all municipal agencies and law enforcement in training and prevention
Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
Montri Sintawichai*:
Make the community responsible for providing help
America Carcamo*:
(El Salvador)
Create independent citizen monitoring of abuse
Mary Gordon*:
Teach empathy in schools
Valentina Martinez*:
Create replicable, integrated approach to spreading responsibility in community
Suwarni Yayuk Rahayu*:
Work within boundaries of subculture (Islam) to re-educate
Francisco Cervantes Islas*:
Redefine masculinity through advocacy and support groups that question machismo
Charles Maisel*:
(South Africa)
Leverage voices of nonviolent men to create new public image of masculinity
National Compadres Network:
Invent a system of elders and group peer pressure to model positive behavior for men
Atuki Turner*:
Train police, communities, judges, and teachers to recognize and respond to domestic violence
Carmen Megallon*:
Adapt urban solutions to rural locations
Harendra de Silva*:
(Sri Lanka)
Coordinate national program for reporting and rescue around child abuse
Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
Josephine Effah-Chukwuma*:
Provide holistic services for battered women
Natacha Reyes*:
Reframe issue as human rights/legal violation, not personal squabbles
Krisztina Morvai*:
Provide free legal services for women
Lesley Foster*:
(South Africa)
Provide job training as a path to economic independence
NCADV Financial Education Project:
Teach women to become financially independent
Wynona Ward*:
Create mobile legal and support services
Rosario Valdez*:
Create community theater and radio shows about domestic violence
Costanza Galvis:
Explore personal history of violence to break cycle
Renae Griggs*:
Work with subculture in which violence is prevalent (police families)
Men Can Stop Rape:
Teach male youth about positive relationship models
Anuradha Kapoor*:
Supplement formal systems with volunteers to provide services
Graca Piza de Menezes*:
Franchise counseling services
Winnie Kubayi*:
(South Africa)
Create database that stores criminal evidence in reliable, secure place
DV Institute:
Devise programs that recognize variations between cultures in how domestic violence is experienced, prevented
Creative Interventions:
Offer women intervention alternatives to leaving or involving law enforcement
CDC Delta Model:
Focus on first-time perpetration as a key opportunity for intervention

* Ashoka Fellows

Participate   • Discuss   • Read the Overall Framework of the Competition


  • Women's Low Status: As long as women's lives and influence are valued as lesser, violence will be tacitly endorsed by society. Programs that foment equality—economic, political and social—reduce violence because women have increased power, as well as access to resources and solutions.

  • Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse: The broad-based acceptance of spousal or child abuse in many cultures and the shame associated with reporting abuse prevent many women from taking action and create a society in which violence is tolerated. Particularly in cases that involve sexual assault or abuse, the cultural shame attached to abuse is a significant deterrent to seeking help.

  • Aggressive Models Of Masculinity: The image of masculinity upheld in many cultures is based on power, control, and superiority to women. While violence against women is not necessarily explicitly endorsed (though in some regions of the world, it is), it is not corrected or called out as aberrant or shameful—let alone prosecuted. In many societies, images of violence against women in media are associated with sexual power and virility. Alternative models of masculinity that encourage respect and skillful anger management are necessary.

  • Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems: Poorly trained personnel, from health care workers to police officers to lawyers and judges, allow the cycle of violence to continue. Systems that require heroics on the part of women to report, or do nothing to safeguard her once she makes a report, put an undue burden on a woman seeking help. Lack of effective rehabilitation programs for abusers force women to make stark choices; lack of programs that address a woman's potential economic dependence on her abuser force a choice between violence and poverty. Most countries need better integrated training and remediation programs as well as expanded services to adequately address the reality of preventing and addressing domestic violence.


Insights represent new standards emerging from practical applications that are meant to inspire and guide the innovation process. Note that although the best solutions probably involve more than one insight, in the mosaic below we have chosen to emphasize one specific innovative aspect. If you would like to learn about the multiple innovations behind each solution, please click on each name in the mosaic for a fuller description of each case.

  • Galvanize Outrage: Publicizing the issue of domestic violence—in particular, taking a historically accepted but horrific practice and stirring protest around it—is a powerful way to resensitize culture. Forcing public debate and shaking off silence around practices like honor killings, FGM, and dowry payment allow a wider population to hold such cultural “norms” up to the light and re-examine the belief systems that put them in place. Such publicity campaigns can also enlist the pressure and participation of other cultures (and countries) where such practices are not engaged.

  • Increase Women's Power: Strategies that increase the economic, political, or personal power of women themselves allow individual women to have greater choices and change the underlying conditions that support domestic violence

  • Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems: As long as ending domestic violence is seen as a responsibility that rests solely with the victim, systemic remediation will be slow. Communities where citizens, police, health care workers and those in the judicial system are trained to recognize and report abuse are safer harbors for women.

  • Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation: Domestic violence will cease when intimate relationships are healthy and equitable and when communities take responsibility for creating the environments and supports for building healthy relationships. Creating paths to prevention requires not only fixing the problems, but also building and emphasizing assets: healthy behavior and healthy communities. Basic services around counseling or escape remain unavailable to many women. Devising ways for these services to be more readily accessible and scaleable is key.

    Short Descriptions of Mosaic Cases

    1. Set up grassroots matchmaking and peer monitoring to end dowry system

      Project Leader: Hosne Ara Begum
      Organization: Thengamara Mohila Sabut Sangha
      Location: Bangladesh
      Mosaic Insight: Galvanize Outrage
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      In Bangladesh, Ashoka Fellow Hosne Ara Begum has launched a grassroots movement initiated by poor women that empowers them to tackle the structural causes of injustice against them.

      Historically, rural Bangladeshi women have been relegated to the position of second-class citizen. Usually illiterate, these women live their lives dedicated to administering to their husbands' sexual needs, bearing and raising children, and performing endless chores. Traditional institutional arrangements exacerbate matters. Arranged marriages tied to heavy dowries followed by the male's ability to divorce a wife and send her back to her family is common, frequently leading to terrible victimization of women. Child marriages and multiple pregnancies jeopardize the health of mother and baby, as women have no control over their reproductive health. Even women fortunate enough to avoid these hardships face economic and social barriers to equal opportunity.

      Begum is launching a grassroots movement of, not just for, poor women. The movement draws ideas, strategies, and programs directly from its members and leadership is strictly local. To provide it with an organizational framework, she founded the Thengamara Mohila Sabut Sangha (TMSS). TMSS initiated an innovative antidowry and domestic abuse strategy. On a voluntary basis, some women have collaborated to arrange compatible dowry-free marriages. Village women monitor the married couple to ensure there is no abuse. This peer-monitoring system is emerging as a model to fight both the dowry system and domestic abuse. TMSS is helping dimantle gender stereotypes and co-opt men as partners. For instance, it encourages men to take responsibility for family planning.

      TMSS works to change women's social status, economically and socially. For instance, the Sangha lobbied successfully with government for the right to take full responsibility for building local roads. Suddenly poor women were managing—skillfully, honestly, and at low cost—significant local public works.

      Go back to the mosaic

    2. Build national network of midwives to support female genital mutilation survivors

      Project Leader: Marianne Sidibe
      Organization: COSEPRAT
      Location: Senegal
      Mosaic Insight:
      Galvanize Outrage
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      Ashoka Fellow Marianne Sidibe is reforming Senegalese health care and creating new systems of support to meet the needs of girls and women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM), a common practice in West Africa that often causes serious physical and psychological complications.

      Although female genital mutilation has been illegal in Senegal since 1999, the practice remains common there and throughout West Africa. Usually performed by elder village women, circumcisions can result in severe injury or even bleeding to death. For survivors, the procedure often causes complications later in life that make daily routines intensely problematic, to say nothing about childbearing and normal sexual function. To date, much of the attention given to this issue has focused on prevention, and very little on helping circumcised girls and women forge rewarding lives. The health care system in Senegal is not organized to meet women's health concerns, especially relating to FGM. The result: thousands of unnecessary injuries and hundreds of preventable deaths.

      With support from her organization COSEPRAT, Sidibe is establishing a national network of midwives and nurses to identify women who have experienced genital mutilation and refer them to appropriate help, in the form of counseling, affordable surgery, and support groups. She is working to change the standard of training programs for midwives, nurses, and doctors so that health professionals are equipped to respond to the particular needs of women who have undergone FGM. Further, she has formed the first support center for circumcised girls and women, which she plans to replicate across the country. Marianne positions her specific efforts on FGM to broadly advance the rights and health of women in her country and lead the way for improvements in prevention and care throughout West Africa.

      Go back to the mosaic

    3. Create celebrity campaigns to create public awareness

      Project Leader: Andile Carelse
      Location: South Africa
      Mosaic Insight:
      Galvanize Outrage
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      South African singer Andile Carelse is spearheading the fight to end sexual abuse and violence across her country by creating forums for young people that empower them to talk about abuse and get help. Leveraging her extensive connections to celebrities, police, counselors, and teachers, this Ashoka Fellow is identifying the root causes of sexual abuse and working out what society can do to stop it.

      The staggering sexual abuse statistics in South Africa have caused it to be dubbed the world's rape capital. Talking about sexual abuse and violence here is tough. Fear of stigma keeps communities silent. Victims stay quiet, fearing rejection, disbelief, or blame. Children are particularly vulnerable. When they do speak out, there is no escape since inevitably their abuser is someone they depend on. There is no long-term treatment center for children, school social workers are under-trained and too few, and emergency intervention and short-term safe houses are insufficient to combat the overwhelming need for services. Additionally, citizens lack confidence in the legal system. Prosecution of sexual offenders is erratic. And police have too often been the perpetuators of abuse to be seen as protectors.

      At the core of Carelse's strategy is a traveling program called the "Open Disclosure Tour" with a diverse team of counselors, celebrities, police officials, and social welfare officers visiting schools to empower young people to come forward with their sexual abuse stories. Carelse and other stars perform and tell their personal stories. Afterward, they hold frank question-and-answer sessions with the kids—covering HIV/AIDS, healing, and reporting assault to local police. As difficult issues arise, the facilitators encourage students to speak privately with specialist counselors waiting nearby.

      Carelse has also set up the Open Disclosure Center, the country's first long-term treatment center for young victims of sexual abuse.

      Go back to the mosaic

    4. Publicize honor killings with cooperation of outraged family members

      Project Leader: Allah Warayo Bozdar
      Organization: RDOCC
      Location: Pakistan
      Mosaic Insight:
      Galvanize Outrage
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      In Pakistan, Allah Warayo Bozdar and his organization RDOCC are leading the fight to end the practice of karo kari ("honor killings") that involves male family members killing female kin suspected of committing adultery. Ashoka Fellow Bozdar believes that intensive publicity of these cases, coupled with systematic intervention in the villages where they occur, can end this brutal practice.

      Until Bozdar began his work, the practice of karo kari went unreported in the media. It is an age-old custom wherein even the slightest suspicion of adultery leads to the woman's murder. While illegal, the practice is widely condoned—the killings viewed not as a crime, but as a necessary step to uphold family honor. In cultural terms women are regarded simulanteously as the source of all sin and the guardians of family honor. Severe restrictions proscribe their dress, movement and behavior. Any deviation is tantamount to loss of family honor.

      When Bozdar learns of an honor killing, his organization tries to approach a member of the victim's extended family. Often there is someone who regards the act unjust. Bozdar's strategy involves encouraging these sympathetic family members to divulge details, which he then publicizes in newspapers and uses to press for police investigations.

      If family members do not cooperate, RDOCC approaches other members of the village to find those troubled by such a killing. He urges one or two of them to join his organization and holds a public meeting to discuss human rights and the needs of the village. By holding an implicit focus on the murdered woman's family without discussing it directly, Bozdar finds that villagers will then approach the family to confess to the crime.

      Go back to the mosaic

    5. Draw public attention to men's role in fighting domestic abuse

      Organization: The White Ribbon Campaign
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      The White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) is the largest membership organization in the world of men working to end male violence against women. Each year, WRC exhorts males to wear a white ribbon for up to two weeks, starting on November 25, the International Day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women. Ribbon-wearers are encouraged to highlight issues related to violence against women, which they do by holding talks in schools, workplaces, and places of worship. WRC distributes its Education and Action Kit to schools and public policy issues are raised.

      The ribbon itself symbolizes a personal pledge to never commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women. WRC believes that by reaching men and contributing to the reduction of violence against women, they are making a contribution to the overstretched resources of women's support services.

      Over the rest of the year the campaign's activities focus on its educational thrust in educational institutions, workplaces, and communities where it encourages reflection and discussion leading to personal and collective action among men. The WRC tries to provide financial benefits to shelters for abused women, rape crisis centers, and women's advocacy programs, and it is in active partnership with women's organizations. On White Ribbon Day, local committees raise money for women's programs.

      Go back to the mosaic

    6. Raise awareness of unrecognized victim group (widows)

      Project Leader: Renuka Sharma
      Organization: The Women's Foundation
      Location: Nepal
      Mosaic Insight:
      Galvanize Outrage
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      Having originally set up an intervention system to help abused women in Nepal, Ashoka Fellow Renu Sharma now directs the resources of that existing network of support groups to tackle the specific issue of widow abuse&151#;a rampant yet largely ignored problem in the country. Working though her organization, the Women's Foundation (WF), Sharma focuses both on changing societal attitudes toward widowhood and on providing critical supports to widows as they attempt to reintegrate into society.

      Nepali women are frequently treated as second-class citizens—their abuse and neglect almost standard practice. Widows are some of the worst victims of this entrenched patriarchy. Many endure the most inhuman treatment, often with the whole community involved and local authorities simply looking on. Widows suffer profound economic deprivation, their condition further exacerbated by the general lack of respect shown them in Nepali society. Although several services exist to help abused women, none of them deal specifically or systematically with the needs of widows.

      Sharma plans to use the results of high-integrity research conducted by the WF network to create an effective public awareness campaign addressing widow abuse issues. This campaign will involve specialized training of community women and the promotion of educational street dramas, videos, and other programs. She will work to introduce legislation to criminalize acts of abuse on widows and will suggest policy and legal measures to law-making bodies in Nepal.

      To attack the problem of their economic vulnerability, Sharma is integrating widows these women into various income-generating projects that are run by WF. The WF village groups will also serve as the "early warning system" that identify widows likely to be victims of abuse. These groups will work to socialize the widows into local society while persuading the local residents to change their traditional views of widowhood.

      Go back to the mosaic

    7. Use video documentaries to sensitize those working in the system to child abuse

      Project Leader: Lilian Liberman Shkolnikoff
      Organization: Yaocihuatl
      Location: Mexico
      Mosaic Insight:
      Galvanize Outrage
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      In Mexico, Lilian Liberman Shkolnikoff's organization Yaocihuatl (Woman Warrior) is fighting child abuse through a preemptive offensive designed to destroy the cyclical nature of violence against children. Rejecting the common reactive approach, Yaocihuatl combines educational videos and therapy to sensitize communities to the issue, stop patterns of mistreatment, and train them in detecting and preventing abuse. The result: children find themselves less vulnerable to violation and therefore to becoming violators in turn.

      Official statistics put child abuse in Mexico at a staggering quarter-million-plus cases annually. Yet, this is a fraction of the actual incidence. Most instances go unreported, especially sexual abuse, because of social taboos that prevent victims and families from coming forward. Victims of childhood trauma suffer profound psychological scarring and odds are high of them perpetuating violence in future relationships. However, with a government choosing a post-event "treatment" policy and a society unequipped to acknowledge, prevent, or deal with child abuse, recurring violence is the result.

      Yaocihuatl's strategies empower children and adults to play active roles in preventing violence against kids. Simple but powerful videos on child abuse are followed by structured group therapy that channels information from the videos to children and adults separately. Kids are alerted to danger signals and ways to deal with them. Adults undergo "revaluation co-counseling" through which they are encouraged to understand the underlying causes of abuse, recognize its existence (or potential) in their own homes, and explore solutions to such undesirable patterns. After the initial session, adults form independent groups to continue this therapy. Yaocihutl's facilitators are also trained to identify victims who require professional assistance and offer them referral services.

      Yaocihuatl is not only pushing child abuse into public awareness and arming kids against this danger but also improving the emotional health of families and communities, further reducing the risk of the maltreatment of kids.

      Go back to the mosaic

    8. Enlist celebrities and citizens in global PR and theatrical outcry to address violence against women

      Organization: V-Day Campaign
      Location: USA/Global
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive and Unresponsive Systems

      V-Day is a global movement to stop violence against women and girls, whether it be rape, battery, incest, female genital mutilation (FGM), or sexual slavery. Its vision is a world where women live safely and freely and where they can spend their lives creating and thriving rather than surviving or recovering from atrocities against them.

      Best known for its Vagina Monologues performances, the campaign—which includes large-scale benefits, film screenings and discussion—raises awareness and funds for antiviolence groups within their own communities. A nonprofit organization, V-Day distributes funds to grassroots, national, and international organizations and to programs that work to stop violence against women and girls.

      The V-Day movement is growing at a rapid pace throughout the world, in 81 countries from Europe to Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean, and all of North America. In its first year of incorporation (2001), V-Day was named one of Worth Magazine's "100 Best Charities." In eight years, the V-Day movement has raised over 30 million.

      The "V" in V-Day stands for Victory, Valentine, and Vagina.

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    9. Publicize individual women's cases to provoke policy change

      Organization: Purple Berets
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive and Unresponsive Systems

      Purple Berets, a grassroots women's rights group dedicated to gaining equal justice for women, has been organizing around crucial issues of violence against women since 1991. Its effective work has made it politically impossible for law enforcement officials to continue to protect perpetrators in their midst.

      Primarily targeted at low-income and immigrant women and female victims of gender-based violence, the group involves itself in direct action, grassroots and political organizing, and well-targeted media work. It highlights cases of women who want to go public with their problem and uses these as examples to effect a system-wide change to give this disenfranchised group access to justice.

      The backbone of the work of the Purple Berets has been direct advocacy with the police and the judiciary, helping to ensure that women's voices are heard and their cases move through the criminal justice system. Almost without exception, the cases that they have advocated for have most times resulting in prosecution and conviction despite the initial refusal by police or assistant district attorneys to file charges.

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    10. Train Dalit women to be water pump engineers, giving them power and influence

      Project Leader: Madhavi Kukreja
      Organization: Vanangana
      Location: India
      Mosaic Insight:
      Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      In one of India's most feudal states, Ashoka Fellow Madhavi Kukreja is taking the lowest rung in the feudal system—lower-caste Dalit women—and turning them into respected and influential "instruments of development" for the entire village. Kukreja's key insight is using the promise of development to force the higher castes, especially men, to acknowledge and respect these women, thereby completely changing the power dynamics in a patriarchal society.

      Kukreja's organization, Vanangana, operates in Chitrakoot—a religion-dominated, feudal pilgrimage spot in Uttar Pradesh—the state that tops human rights violations in India. Violence against women and Dalits (low-caste) is endemic. Violence and exploitation—public and domestic, social and economic—are experienced in double measure by low caste and tribal women who occupy the bottom rung of all three hierarchies (class, caste, and gender).

      Vanangana is combating the grave and pervasive problem of violence against women by making Dalit women a critical cog in village development and thus ensuring their safety as well as an influential position in the social ladder. For instance, in a path-breaking move, Kukreja pushed for Dalit women to be trained as water pump mechanics. Since water is a scarce and valued commodity and the pump repairer crucial to regular supply, their new status catapulted the women from being viewed as dregs to highly respected individuals. This change in a woman's role in society, essentially driven by development needs, is then ingeniously used to improve progress on issues like gender-based discrimination, sexual abuse, caste-based atrocities, untouchability, and domestic violence. By creating platforms that allow women from the higher castes and the lower castes to interact, Vanangana enables them to identify and confront common problems and demonstrates the impact to the entire community.

      Go back to the mosaic

    11. Provide education opportunities to battered women

      Project Leader: Monika Grochova
      Organization: Fenestra
      Location: Slovakia
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      In Slovakia, Ashoka Fellow Monika Grochova is combating gender stereotypes and their destructive effects by providing battered women with a range of services, including education in democratic rights and life options that empowers them to take control of their lives and futures.

      Domestic violence is a widespread problem in Slovak society and on the increase throughout Central Europe. An estimated one in five women in Slovakia suffers from some form of violence at the hands of spouses, boyfriends, or other family members. A network of government psychological counseling centers and a few civil sector organizations provide limited advocacy services to battered Slovak women. But none effectively address domestic abuse alongside the long-term, yet highly relevant, issue of restructuring gender roles.

      Grochova emphasizes that the problem of domestic violence is social rather than a result of an individual's characteristics. From this conviction, she built Fenestra, an organization that relies on trained, highly motivated volunteers to provide comprehensive psychological and legal services to battered women. At the same time, it is addressing underlying issues of gender equity. The services Fenestra offers are free and accessible and include crisis assistance and consultancy, counseling, legal advice and advocacy, and support groups that empower women to realize independent lives and overcome the abuse they have suffered. Grochova aims to equip women with a liberating and empowering understanding of the societal root of their problems to help them overcome the trap of gender stereotypes.

      To achieve broader impact Fenestra provides guidance to other existing and emerging organizations especially in the area of crisis intervention and management. It facilitates linkages between networks of organizations and individuals working in related fields and promotes information exchange. Fenestra organizes training seminars for government officials and the police and cooperates with universities to prepare professionals working in related fields.

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    12. Let women devise their own solutions

      Organization: Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA)
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA) is a U.S.-based grassroots organization that recognizes the unprecedented attacks and affronts on immigrants. Focused on Latina immigrant women, MUA has a dual mission of personal transformation and community power. Creating an environment of understanding and confidentiality, MUA empowers and educates members through mutual support and training to be leaders in their own lives and in the community. Working with diverse allies, MUA promotes unity and civic-political participation to achieve social justice.

      Everyday, members gather in MUA's offices to discuss urgent issues like immigration laws that change seemingly overnight, increasingly widespread unemployment and denials of workers' basic rights, and cutbacks in the education, health care, and social service systems. The women share stories of how this political context has led to family tensions, increases in domestic violence, and fears about the future. While discussing their concerns, MUA members simultaneously build alternatives—healing themselves and each other, learning to organize and speak out, developing new economic development strategies, and raising a clear voice from the grassroots that Latina immigrant women are a powerful force for change.

      MUA is one of the few programs founded on the concept that immigrant women themselves are uniquely equipped to find solutions to the problems that most directly affect their lives. While recognizing the formidable problems faced by Latina immigrant women, MUA draws on the strengths of these same women as peer mentors, group facilitators, community educators, and organizers. With this philosophy in mind, MUA adopts a multilayered program approach to Latina immigrant empowerment, leadership, and activism.

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    13. Host open forums for sexual abuse survivor groups

      Project Leader: Anuja Gupta
      Organization: Rahi
      Location: India
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      In India, Ashoka Fellow Anuja Gupta has set up Rahi, an organization that provides women survivors of sexual child abuse with a forum for opening up about their experiences and moving beyond their pain and trauma. In doing so, Gupta is breaking the silence surrounding sexual child abuse and preventing future abuse of children.

      Middle- and upper-middle Indian families' prevailing views on gender, sexuality, and family prevent children, especially girls, from reporting abuse they may be suffering. Female virginity is valorized. Sexuality is not discussed. Elders command total respect. The family unit is sacred. For these and other reasons, girls are unlikely to speak out. Instead, they internalize shame and suffer in silence, often trapped in homes with the very adults violating them. The trauma follows girls into adulthood, profoundly affecting their sense of identity, sexuality, relationships, parenting, and work life. And because women who are child victims of abuse are less able to protect their own daughters from abuse, all feel the impacts of powerlessness. The legal system, too, is largely insensitive to the needs and rights of victims.

      Gupta identifies adult women who have suffered sexual child abuse, meeting them at colleges and women's clubs. Her approach is nonthreatening: a simple assurance that there is someone to turn to when they are ready to deal with the memories. After initial informal conversations, some women make the important next step of starting their journey of openness and healing. Rahi provides a safe and confidential space for women to share their experiences and feelings with knowledgeable, concerned individuals. For new members, Gupta provides educational groups based on information exchange. For those ready to share their experiences with other survivors, support groups are established. Simultaneously, Rahi uses research findings and the media to secure and keep public attention on the subject.

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    14. Use art projects to give women a forum to make their experience public

      Organization: Clothesline Project (CLP)
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      Year: 1990. Place: Cape Cod, Massachusetts. A coalition of women's groups, many of whom had experienced some form of personal violence, came together to develop a program that would educate, break the silence, and bear witness to one issue: the statistics that bore testimony to the high incidence of violence against women. Thus was born the Clothesline Project (CLP).

      The project uses the concept of using shirts—hanging on a clothesline—as the vehicle for raising awareness about this issue. Each woman tells her story in her own unique way, using words or artwork to decorate her shirt, which she then hangs on the clothesline. The purpose of the project is to increase awareness of the impact of violence against women, to celebrate a woman's strength to survive, and to provide another avenue for her to courageously break the silence that often surrounds her experience.

      Since its inception, Clothesline Project organizers have been moved by the power of the stories contained in these shirts. Women from around the country have joined its efforts to educate by telling their stories, by hanging their shirts on a line, and by making connections with other survivors. These efforts are critical to the healing process and, ultimately, to ending the cycle of violence.

      At the moment there are about 500 projects nationally and internationally with an estimated 50,000 to 60,000 shirts in five countries. This ever-expanding grassroots network is as far-flung as Tanzania and as close as Orleans, Massachusetts.

      The Clothesline Project honors women survivors as well as victims of intimate violence. Any woman who has experienced such violence, at any time in her life, is encouraged to come forward and design a shirt. Victim's families and friends are also invited to participate.

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    15. Involve all municipal agencies and law enforcement in training and prevention

      Organization: City of Cambridge Domestic Violence-Free Zone
      Location: UK
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      In 1977 the Cambridge Commission on the Status of Women was established by the City Council to "act as a centralizing force in the City of Cambridge and the community to deal with all women's issues." The commission works with city agencies and community groups to promote women's safety and women's participation in developing programs for themselves, their neighborhoods and the city as a whole. The commission is specifically focused on domestic violence, sexual assault on the streets, and safety awareness and self-defense.

      Its objective is to ensure the equal status of all women and girls in the educational, economic, political, societal, health, and legal spheres. The commission's duties include design and implementation of programs that advance women and girls. It develops and recommends policies to all city departments, divisions, and agencies on issues affecting women. It is also responsible for initiating, coordinating and monitoring legislation, responding to incidents of discrimination, and initiating public exhibits and media events in the city.

      The commission is a member of the National Associations of Commissions for Women (NACW), the professional organization for over 220 commissions, providing support, expertise, and serving as their national voice.

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    16. Make the community responsible for providing help

      Project Leader: Montri Sintawichai
      Organization: Child Protection Foundation (CPF)
      Location: Thailand
      www.childprotection.or.thChangemakers article
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status Low

      Until Montri Sintawichai came on the scene, Thailand had no institutionalized action plan to protect the rights and lives of abused and sexually exploited children. Sintawichai's earliest focus was on poor migrant families for whom stresses and separations are endemic, destabilizing home life. Sometimes children are forced to work as laborers or prostitutes to help support the family.

      Sintawichai's model for intervention rescues, shelters, and nurtures abused children and works with their families to change the conditions that led to abuse. He employs the combined efforts of the family, local leaders, and the government to stimulate public awareness of the issue and has successfully lobbied for laws that protect children's rights. Through the Child Protection Foundation (CPS) that he established in 1993, Sintawichai has built up a network of citizens, police and welfare department officials, community leaders, medical practitioners, and volunteers. Their job? To respond to individual cases of abuse, as well as to the larger issues that affect society as a whole. There is also a training program for polics in handling child abuse cases.

      Because of CPS's efforts, the government was pressurized into formulating reforms that protect children, especially in terms of coordinating and supporting enforcement and treatment, and follow-up help to children. In 2000 Thailand's Criminal Procedures Code was amended to protect child victims and witnesses against intimidation in court cases and to prevent the use of bribery and pressure tactics. Laws to increase penalties against sexual exploitation of the young have been strengthened. The new laws target customers, traffickers, and parents who sell their children into prostitution.

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    17. Create independent citizen monitoring of abuse

      Project Leader: América Joaquina Romualdo Carcamo
      Organization: Comité 25 de Noviembre
      Location: El Salvador
      Mosaic Insight:
      Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      Drawing on her experience as a lawyer and women's rights activist, Ashoka Fellow América Carcamo is creating an independent system of monitoring and follow-through to ensure the application of laws against domestic violence and the accountability of the justice system. Carcamo helps victims seek legal action to end their abuse by transforming an ineffective justice system into a responsive solution for protecting women. She is bridging the gap between women's groups and the law to create an independent system to monitor and follow through on cases of domestic violence

      Domestic violence is rampant in El Salvador, yet the number of cases in the judicial system is paltry. Even fewer receive sufficient support from legal and social services to adequately address the needs of the victim and stop the recurrence of violence. Through an effort led by Carcamo, the Salvadoran government passed legislation in 1996 authorizing judicial functionaries to intervene in domestic violence cases. However, the laws are rarely applied effectively, since authorities and the public remain ignorant about their content and application.

      Carcamo's approach has three components: strengthening efforts of citizen organizations to better assist domestic violence victims; training judges, lawyers, and judicial functionaries; and identifying and denouncing failures of the justice system to uphold and apply the law. First, Carcamo teaches women's organizations how to access resources to seek legal action for cases. She trains them to monitor judicial rulings for application of existing laws against domestic violence. Finally, she arms them with strategies for follow-up on cases, including publicly denouncing the judicial system's failures to uphold the law.

      Carcamo coordinates with judicial ministries to train judicial functionaries to recognize the needs of domestic violence victims, identify instances where the judicial system has failed, and apply anti-domestic violence law effectively. She is setting precedents that increase respect for domestic violence law and credibility of the justice system overall.

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    18. Teach empathy in schools

      Project Leader: Mary Gordon
      Organization: Roots of Empathy (ROE)
      Location: Canada
      www.rootsofempathy.orgChangemakers article
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      Ashoka Fellow Mary Gordon's program—Roots of Empathy (ROE)—is reducing childhood aggression in Canada by teaching emotional literacy to students and fostering in them feelings of empathy. Through a classroom-based program that encourages young victims of childhood violence to recognize and manage their own emotions and correctly interpret and responds to others, ROE is mitigating the damaging, emotion-deadening impact of childhood trauma that often leads to an abusive, antisocial personality.

      Over the past decades Canada has experienced a sharp increase in domestic violence, child abuse, and youth violence. While a complex set of socioeconomic factors is driving this alarming phenomenon, one fundamental factor perpetuating this trend is that risk of abuse grows exponentially for victims of violence: they are most likely to become perpetuators themselves. Children who suffer parental neglect or abuse are left with an impaired ability to be sensitive to others' emotions or to be in tune with their own. Misreading the emotional cues of others, they typically respond with hostility and aggression. Existing educational programs aimed at deterring violence fail because they focus on the consequences rather than equipping individuals with the emotional literacy needed to reconnect with their feelings and to empathize with those of others.

      The ROE program counters the emotional damage that children have suffered by teaching 3 to 14-year-olds the affective side of parenting. Each class "adopts" a baby for the year. With the help of a parent and trained ROE instructors, the students learn to interpret and verbalize the baby's emotions and needs from its sounds and movements. As the students explore, analyze, and articulate the baby's behavior to determine appropriate responses, their emotional literacy develops, and they gain proficiency in identifying their own states of mind and the feelings of others. They realize how their own actions affect others. Every school year brings a new baby and a reinforcement and expansion of this emotional healing and the positive social skills acquired, and it improves students' chances of forming "good" relationships as adults.

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    19. Create replicable, integrated approach to spreading responsibility in community

      Project Leader: Valentina Martinez
      Organization: Santiago Rukama
      Location: Chile
      Mosaic Insight:
      Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      Valentina Martinez is working to end family violence in Chile by introducing a culture of collective responsibility to society. Typically, attitudes about violence focus on the otherness of the victim or the abuser, resulting in the "safe" opinion that the problem is someone else's. Ashoka Fellow Martinez demonstrates that it is a societal problem affecting everyone.

      Family violence and child abuse are major social problems in Chile. At their root are a machista culture and tradition of hiding violence under the auspices of privacy. Violence is treated either as a problem faced by those at the margins of society or as a private matter to be addressed within the home, rather than as a social issue desperately needing a solution. Government policy has failed to respond appropriately. And none of the relevant institutions—schools, hospitals, police—have a coordinated system to tackle the problem.

      Working through her organization, Santiago Rukama, Martinez has devised a framework for local intervention driven by individual strategies for institutions and reinforced by a national campaign. Her model includes: a comprehensive study of social resources, institutions and government programs addressing domestic violence; productive dialogue that informs each actor and lays the groundwork for an integrated and cooperative approach; a study summarizing information on domestic violence in each community to analyze its manifestation; a community intervention model that clarifies priorities, resources, and the roles of institutions; and training key institutions like schools, hospitals, police in relevant skills to provide services. Ultimately, the stakeholder institutions begin to play their roles, now clearly articulated, and the plan is put into effect. The result is that newly uncovered domestic violence problems are treated by the new community network and prevention work begins.

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    20. Work within boundaries of subculture (Islam) to re-educate

      Project Leader: Suwarni Agnesti Rahayu (Yayuk)
      Organization: Rifka Annisa (Women's Friend) Women's Crisis Center
      Location: Indonesia
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      In Indonesia, Suwarni Agnesti Rahayu's organization Rifka Annisa is combating violence against women by using a culturally acceptable approach rooted in religious tenets and beliefs. By drawing on Islamic teachings that make a case against the subjugation of women, Rifka Annisa has successfully co-opted the powerful sociocultural influence of Islam in this predominantly Muslim country and is managing to improve both the status of women and gender relations.

      Indonesian society consigns women to a status where—in this patriarchal environment—men have unquestionable, absolute authority over women. The common interpretation of Islamic teaching reinforces this attitude: women "belong" to their husbands who can treat them as they please. Women internalize these values and suffer from low self-esteem. Unsurprisingly, in such a social climate, abuse of women is rampant and domestic violence a common, unremarkable phenomenon.

      Rifka Annisa's solution is to demonstrate that abuse of women violates fundamental Islamic tenets and thus cannot be endorsed or practiced by Muslims. It draws on the Qur'an for substantial, unequivocal textual support for this argument. To add credibility to its work, Rifka Annisa collaborates with male religious interpreters (munafsirs). The organization holds counseling sessions for women (and their husbands, if willing) and public discussions and lectures centered on the status of women. At all such sessions the underlying approach is identical: use the religious perspective to demonstrate that Islam demands respect for women.

      For women victims who come for counseling, the religious approach is a familiar and comfortable route for discussing their problem and examining their position. Rifka Annisa provides them with the alternatives they may be seeking, including divorce or reconciliation, and helps them work out their own solutions. By interpreting how Islam empowers women and by spreading that knowledge to individuals and the public, Rifka Annisa is making Indonesian society a more equitable one for the long-term.

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    21. Redefine masculinity through advocacy and support groups that question machismo

      Project Leader: Francisco Cervantes Islas
      Organization: CORIAC (Men's Collective for Equal Relations)
      Location: Mexico
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      Francisco Cervantes Islas is redefining in a positive manner the concepts of masculinity, fatherhood, and power in family relationships, providing a new image for the "macho" Mexican male. Through CORIAC (Men's Collective for Equal Relations), the organization founded by him, Islas has developed a wide range of programs that help men recognize and then constructively deal with their violent behavior.

      The Mexican man has exercised masculinity and paternity in an authoritative way for centuries. Men reconcile this behavior with the role of provider inside the home, but this family structure has had many negative ramifications on the well-being of men's wives and children. Daily life in Mexico is changing considerably, to the point where men do not always play the role of the provider, and thus have fewer reasons to exercise authority. At the same time, women have become involved in the social and economic life of the country, and children, too, are often now more independent. Frustration over the loss of their traditional role in the family often leads men to physical and emotional mistreatment of partners or children. According to the Agency for Family Development, half of all Mexican men resort to violence in the home.

      Ashoka Fellow Islas is developing methodologies to work with men, to question and redefine masculinity so that genders can coexist in harmony, and end the negative consequences that traditional machismo has produced.

      Islas's workshops are designed to guide fathers to recognize traditional paradigms of fatherhood as harmful, to develop a desire to change destructive behavior patterns, to encourage them to visualize the benefits of better family relationships, and to allow them to generate their own proposals for change. Finally, the workshops encourage men to put their new modes of behavior into practice and to establish a family environment that prevents regression.

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    22. Leverage voices of nonviolent men to create new public image of masculinity

      Project Leader: Charles Maisel
      Organization: 5 in 6
      Location: South Africa
      Link: article
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      In the nation that has the highest rate of violence against women of any country not at war, Charles Maisel is providing South African men with the techniques for preventing aggressive behavior. He is changing the attitudes and behavior of men by enrolling those who are against abuse in a movement that vigorously opposes domestic violence. The long-term goal is to advance human rights in poor and disadvantaged communities by significantly reducing violence in South African society in general.

      Data show that a quarter of men in South Africa abuse their wives, and institutionalized violence has deeply scarred the nation. With state machinery failing to address the problem, it has been the women themselves who have worked against violence.

      According to a survey conducted by Maisel on domestic violence in South African townships, five out of every six men were perceived as being "good" men by their womenfolk. Thus was born the "5 in 6" program that engaged adult men to serve as positive role models for the younger generation. The method focuses on prevention and puts men in the major roles, while also engaging women.

      Through the women, the project identifies "positive," nonviolent men, works with them to enhance their good qualities and values, and together, they find ways to support women. The premise is that these men have a responsibility to act against, and prevent, violence in their communities. Elements of the program include workshops, rolling mass action, and the Everyday Heroes Campaign, that is, the 5-out-of-every-6 "good" men.

      At the same time, women participate in savings programs that help them become financially independent from men and more in control of their lives. Savings are used as the glue to build a social movement, while simultaneously generating financial resources. Bottom line: it is possible to galvanize the collective power of human and financial resources to bring about lasting social change anywhere in the world.

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    23. Invent a system of elders and group peer pressure to model positive behavior for men

      Organization: National Compadres Network (NCN)
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      National Comprades Network uses the power of extended kinship ties that have traditionally defined Latino interactions to effect changes in the sociocultural fabric of South Americans. It is using Latino males to reevaluate their own lives and to then serve as role models to positively influence and mentor community members. The men are encouraged to nurture and guide the community in preventing—and intervening in—cases of domestic, drug, and alcohol abuse.

      Based on the principles of "Un Hombre Noble" (a noble man), the network is strengthening and redeveloping the "compadre" extended family system. NCN's noble man is defined as someone sensitive and understanding who has a sense of responsibility of his own well-being and that of others in his circle, someone who rejects any form of physical, emotional, mental or spiritual abuse, and someone who takes time to reflect and pray.

      NCN's interventions have substantially reduced the incidence of substance abuse, domestic violence, child abuse, teen pregnancy, gang violence, and other forms of family and community abuse.

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    24. Train police, communities, judges, and teachers to recognize and respond to domestic violence

      Project Leader: Atuki Turner
      Location: Uganda
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      In Uganda, Ashoka Fellow Atuki Turner is reducing gender violence by making it a community problem rather than a private one, and then equipping communities to stop it. By empowering various community principals like the police, schools, health centers, and courts to combat domestic violence, Turner is nurturing collective local ownership of the problem and developing a model for responsive communities.

      Domestic violence is one of Uganda's most damaging yet hidden problems, manifesting itself as battery, marital rape, and psychological and financial abuse. Traditional practices—that enjoy legal sanction—often contribute to the problem. For example, the custom of "bride price" effectively makes a woman her husband's property to be used as he chooses. Police, health professionals, and other community members are ill prepared to deal with the problem and prefer to turn a blind eye when confronted with it. Economically dependent on their abusers, lacking legal and social support systems, battered women have few options outside marriage.

      Turner is building a local response to domestic violence that makes community members and structures responsible for protecting women from violence. With women's groups as the program's drivers, she uses an interactive training program and resource kit to educate children, adults and institutions (the police, health centers) on violence against women. Simultaneously, she assists women's groups and their communities to create new structures to protect women such as safety forums, advice and legal aid centers, and bylaws.

      She backs up this community approach with campaigns to enact domestic violence legislation and eliminate practices that encourage violence against women. As lack of financial security among women is a primary factor in domestic violence, Turner supports the women's groups with micro-credit loans and awareness-raising programs that allow them to generate wealth and thus reduce their dependence on men.

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    25. Adapt urban solutions to rural locations

      Project Leader: Maria del Carmen Magallón
      Organization: La Coordinadora Interregional Rural Feminista Comaltzin
      Location: Mexico
      Mosaic Insight:
      Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      Maria del Carmen Magallón is helping communities in rural Mexico identify and prevent domestic violence through a community-based approach using models developed for urban areas that she modifies to fit the rural context.

      The prevalence of domestic violence in Mexico has desensitized the public, which sees it as "normal." While urban populations are now more aware of the problem and an increasing number of initiatives are tackling it, in rural Mexico the situation continues to be abysmal with virtually no services for victims and or education on prevention.

      Magallón, an Ashoka Fellow, has constructed a model that draws on urban approaches to domestic violence prevention and detection but that has been translated to apply to rural realities. She roots her approach in local culture by making prevention of domestic violence a community initiative. The model has six components: it educates indigenous women and men about gender-based violence and trains them how to detect cases in their own communities (the signs to watch for, the questions to ask); it selects and trains "intervention agents" within the community to be in charge of follow-through with cases; it sensitizes and trains medical and legal personnel and other service providers about how to recognize domestic violence, and urges them to report cases to the authorities; it develops networks of organizations dealing with rural populations and women's issues; it disseminates Magallón's approach regionally through the radio; it educates teachers and mothers about the magnitude of the problem; and, finally, it systematizes Magallón's experience through collaboration with universities.

      The model has an effective spread strategy. Groups of communities form zones through which a coordinator maintains connections with the agents and provides support for her "team." Through these coordinators the base of support grows from local to regional and then to the national level.

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    26. Coordinate national program for reporting and rescue around child abuse

      Project Leader: Professor Harendra de Silva
      Organization: National Child Protection Authority (NCPA)
      Location: Sri Lanka
      Mosaic Insight:
      Personalize Responsibility in Communities/Systems
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      In Sri Lanka, partially visible but largely neglected, are child prostitutes, street children, child laborers, and those trafficked for one purpose or another. Of special concern are children traumatized by war and child victims of incest and domestic violence.

      National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) founder Professor Harendra de Silva is leading its concerted campaign to end child abuse in Sri Lanka by overcoming outdated legislation, weak coordination among nongovernment groups, and government and public inaction and prejudice. It uses advocacy, protection, legal reform, and rehabilitation to counter all aspects of child abuse. In this, it has co-opted various strata of citizenry, from government officials, ministers, police, judges, teachers, medical professionals, to community workers.

      NCPA uses the media in a systematic manner to raise awareness about child abuse issues and to raise consciences among Sri Lankans. Highly publicized investigations and trials, TV and radio interviews, talk show panels, advertisements, and articles in the print media are used to transform public attitudes and effect policy change.

      Since pushing the basic child protection law and a law on video evidence in 1999, the authority has worked on amendments to numerous other acts, from widening the definition of criminal offences to include various areas of child abuse to increasing the minimum employment age. NCPA works closely with the police and has helped train and organize trafficking units and cyber patrols.

      The authority has attracted attention from South Asian countries, and the model is already being replicated in Bangladesh and Nepal. De Silva himself is linked with several police operations in the UK, including the London Metropolitan Police Pedophile Unit and the National High Tech Crimes Unit. UNICEF will soon be promoting the model internationally.

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    27. Provide holistic services for battered women

      Project Leader: Josephine Effah-Chukwuma
      Organization: Project Alert on Violence Against Women
      Location: Nigeria
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      Through her organization, Project Alert on Violence Against Women, Ashoka Fellow Josephine Effah-Chukwuma is breaking the silence surrounding domestic abuse in Nigeria by providing counseling services, legal advice and representation, and temporary housing at the country's first battered women's shelter.

      Domestic violence is shrouded in silence in Nigeria, although it is by no means a rarity. Neighbors typically shame women who discuss this problem, and many people still believe men have the right to use beatings to maintain control of the household. Consequently, domestic violence is rarely reported, and law enforcement authorities generally refuse to intercede, even when calls are made. In fact, abuse is so commonly accepted and so rarely reported that, officially, domestic violence does not exist. The primary tactic employed by women's organizations is the press release that condemns violent or inhumane acts against women and calls for the arrest and prosecution of the culprits. However, the intervention ends there, with no follow-up service to the victims or their dependents.

      Effah-Chukwuma is the first person to formally address issues related to violence against women in Nigeria. By establishing the country's first shelter, telephone hotline, and newsletter for battered women, she is not only providing valuable services to beleaguered women in need of immediate assistance, but also working to deconstruct the taboos that prevent efforts to fight domestic and sexual violence in Africa and around the developing world. Effah-Chukwuma has developed an effective holistic approach to helping battered women: she provides a safe space and accommodations for victims and their children, and she offers group and individual counseling, resettlement services, legal advice, and advocacy. She plans to launch similar initiatives in every city in Nigeria and would like to spread her model to other regions of the developing world.

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    28. Reframe issue as human rights/legal violation, not personal squabbles

      Project Leader: Natacha Reyes
      Organization: Municipio del Distrito Metropolitano de Quito
      Location: Ecuador
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      Natacha Reyes interprets Ecuador's new laws against spousal abuse and domestic violence to women across the country through a model that teaches them how to exercise their legal rights and see themselves as full and active citizens.

      In Ecuador, where 75 percent of women experience abuse, there are now laws that specifically establish protection from violence as a woman's legal right. However, Ecuadorians are ignorant of these laws. The government provides no mechanisms to educate citizens about new legislation; staffs of municipal and judicial offices are poorly informed, and Ecuadorian police are not equipped to deal with complaints of domestic violence. In addition to ignorance, there are significant other barriers for women to overcome before they can use the law to protect themselves.

      Reyes, a human rights lawyer, was an architect of Ecuador's first laws to protect women's rights. Now this Ashoka Fellow has devised a method to take the law out to the neighborhoods, enable women to use it, and expand the rule of law in the country. Her strategy involves three interrelated elements: direct education, legal advice, and other support services for women; training for police and other public officials charged with enforcing laws protecting women from domestic violence; and public education through the media and publications. By focusing on the public and police, she is working to create an enabling environment for women's self-empowerment. By providing services for women, she supports their efforts directly.

      Reyes has launched a series of "Permanent Citizenship Schools,"—a layer of women's rights programs added to existing women's groups and nongovernmental organizations. Women learn about legal concepts and how to use the legal system. Reyes has established the first national police departmental office for the defense of women's rights and instituted training in the handling of domestic violence cases.

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    29. Provide free legal services for women

      Project Leader: Krisztina Morvai
      Organization: Women and Children's' Rights Research and Education Center Foundation
      Location: Hungary
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      In Hungary, lawyer and Ashoka Fellow Krisztina Morvai has established a legal clinic and an affiliated foundation—the Women and Children's' Rights Research and Education Center Foundation—to help battered women and children and increase public awareness of family violence. Through these initiatives she is effecting crucial legal and policy reforms relating to domestic abuse.

      For many Hungarian women and children, the most dangerous place is their homes. Laws relating to domestic violence and abuse, and state instruments continue to prove ineffective and there is little recourse for victims. Several organizations in Hungary are fighting to strengthen the defense of women. However, none have reached the state policy level nor attempted to restructure Hungary's legal system.

      To change the behavior of state and society toward the victims of family violence, Morvai positions family violence for the public both as a personal problem and as a violation of human rights, i.e., a social problem. Her legal clinic offers services that address and protect the rights and welfare of battered women and children. On a policy level Morvai is fighting for legal reforms to enable Hungary to harmonize with European Union standards. Her position on the Women's Affair Council enables her to influence critical legal issues directly.

      Based on an American model of legal defense, Morvai's clinic at the Department of Law at Hungary's largest university brings together students from different disciplines—law, social work, and law enforcement. They work outside the classroom, meeting domestic abuse victims and assisting with their defense. Morvai worked with program graduates to design the first long-term national strategy for defending victims of family violence. To encourage involvement across a range of professions, Morvai designs training programs for all whose work brings them into direct contact with families. Additionally, her efforts have attracted media attention to this problem.

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    30. Provide job training as a path to economic independence

      Project Leader: Lesley Ann Foster
      Organization: Masimanyane Women Support Centre
      Location: South Africa
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      In South Africa Lesley Ann Foster is engaged in pioneering efforts to develop much-needed services for women and girls who are the victims of domestic violence and abuse. She is also pursuing a complementary campaign to raise awareness of the problem.

      According to Human Rights Watch, South Africa has one of the world's highest rates of domestic violence. Moreover, such violence is on the rise. Understanding of the full dimensions of violence against women and girls remains inadequate, in part because most of its victims are reluctant to turn to the police and other public institutions for help. The problem is compounded by the fact that, while most victims are black and are comfortable only in their own African language, most support services staff is unfamiliar with those languages. The few institutions capable of helping victims sufficiently overcome their trauma to seek additional assistance are too overwhelmed by their workload to be really effective.

      Ashoka Fellow Foster has designed a multipronged strategy to combat the problem. She established the Masimanyane Women Support Centre, the first organization in the Eastern Cape dedicated to combating violence against women and girls. The center is developing and implementing a broad array of grassroots services, leading a high-impact campaign based on results from a survey on domestic violence to raise public understanding of the problem, and mobilizing appropriate responses by government and nongovernmental organizations.

      All services are offered in the appropriate language. The center emphasizes helping its clients attain economic independent and thus be more able to leave violent relationships. Women are referred to local Independent Business Enrichment Centres, a state-funded self-employment promotion scheme. The center organizes workshops on awareness and prevention of sexual abuse for teachers and follows up by helping teachers organize support groups for victims of abusive relationships in their schools.

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    31. Teach women to become financially independent

      Organization: National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) Financial Education Project
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV) believes that violence against women and children results from the use of force or threat to achieve and maintain control over others in intimate relationships, and from societal abuse of power and domination in the forms of sexism, racism, homophobia, classism, anti-Semitism, able-bodyism, ageism, and other oppressions. The coalition's mission is to work for major societal changes necessary to eliminate both personal and societal violence against all women and children.

      NCADV's work includes coalition building at the local, state, regional and national levels; support for the provision of community-based, nonviolent alternatives—such as safe home and shelter programs—for battered women and their children; public education and technical assistance; policy development and innovative legislation; focus on the leadership of NCADV's caucuses and task forces developed to represent the concerns of organizationally under represented groups; and efforts to eradicate social conditions that contribute to violence against women and children.

      NCADV comprises all those dealing with the concerns of battered women and their families. Its programs support and involve battered women of all racial, social, religious and economic groups, ages, and lifestyles. It supports equality in relationships and the importance of helping women assume power over their own lives.

      NCADV serves as a national information and referral center for the general public, media, battered women and their children, allied and member agencies and organizations. NCADV has a strong track record of providing programs with information and technical assistance and has promoted the development of innovative programs that address the special needs of all battered women. NCADV also works to influences public policy and legislation.

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    32. Create mobile legal and support services

      Project Leader: Wynona Ward
      Organization: Have Justice Will Travel
      Location: USA
      www.havejusticewilltravel.orgChangemakers article
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      Wynona Ward is breaking the generational chain of domestic abuse in U.S. rural communities by bringing comprehensive legal and social services to isolated victims and their children.

      The first exhaustive national health survey of American women reported that over four million women are abused annually in the United States. The violence affects children at home and others in the locality. When traumatized victims look for assistance, they encounter a fragmented mix of services that they must navigate when they are least capable of doing so. In rural areas, other obstacles like inadequate public transportation, poor law enforcement, and lack of privacy in tight-knit communities hinder access to legal recourse and other support. And while public awareness of violence against women has increased in recent years, it has been limited to urban areas. The result: primary beneficiaries of research and improved services are urban victims.

      Recognizing that victims of domestic violence in rural areas are both isolated and subject to locating poorly coordinated agencies, Ashoka Fellow Ward launched Have Justice Will Travel (HJWT) to address this two-fold problem. Her program has five components. The first includes: a victim interview in a secure place during which Ward assesses legal and financial issues; the woman's understanding of generational abuse; the effects on her children; the most recent episode of abuse; and the services the family requires to understand and deal with the problem. The second component is transportation. Ward uses her four-wheel drive office-equipped with CB radio, cell phone, scanner, laptop, printer—to transport victims to and from court hearings and social service appointments. The third component is free legal representation.

      The remaining two components aim at helping women escape the chains of generational abuse by promoting self-sufficiency and raising self-esteem: one is a skills development and mentor support group for women and mothers led by former victims; the other is a supervised children visitation program.

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    33. Create community theater and radio shows about domestic violence

      Project Leader: Rosario Valdez
      Organization: Programa de Acción contra la Violencia (CECOVID)
      Location: Mexico
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      In Mexico Rosario Valdez has founded the Programa de Acción contra la Violencia (Center for Researching and Combating Domestic Violence or CECOVID) to launch a broad-ranging attack on domestic violence and disrespect of women's rights.

      The problem of domestic violence in Mexico is particularly acute because the issue attracts little attention, and there are few services catering to the psychological and physical needs of battered women. Public opinion, too, remains uneducated. The lack of an organized women's movement further allows the problem to continue undeterred.

      The first step in this Ashoka Fellow's approach is to make domestic violence visible and have it recognized for what it is. Beginning her work in the poorest areas, Valdez is gradually getting the women to begin to acknowledge and discuss—very discreetly—this taboo subject. In the first phase of her work, she concentrates on exposing the problem through localized publicity campaigns and a series of all-day shows in the community, starring famous singers and actors who volunteer their time. These events have the objective of announcing and preparing the area's residents for an upcoming survey. In between professional presentations there are short talks and skits on domestic violence. The next step is to carry out the survey on domestic violence, which is used as input for further educational and support work. The survey is designed to stimulate participating women to reflect on the issue not as a problem of "personal failure," but as a global "disease." Beyond this local level, Valdez is negotiating with Mexico City government regarding the creation of support centers for battered women.

      CECOVID runs a hotline and emergency care centers for battered women to help women and their families get through any immediate crisis and build a new economic and social base.

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    34. Explore personal history of violence to break cycle

      Project Leader: Constanza Ardila Galvis
      Organization: CEDAVIDA
      Location: Colombia
      Links:, q /
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      Constanza Ardila Galvis's organization CEDAVIDA is halting Colombia's cycle of violence through a therapeutic process that equips victims of violence to resist the inevitability of becoming programmed for aggression themselves. Through an initiative called Community Builders of Peace that helps people come to terms with personal traumas and comprehend the effects of violence, CEDAVIDA is creating a citizenry invested in fostering a culture of peace and empowered to say "no" to violence.

      In Colombia continuous armed conflict has created a society driven by brutal survivalist principles. In the last decade, fighting has displaced over a million people, with a majority of them under 25 years of age. Statistics tell a grim tale of their early induction into violence, and most eventually sign up with the very forces that had displaced them in order simply to survive. Social values reinforce this culture. Children are taught to obey authority unquestioningly, to eschew weakness, and to respond to intimidation with aggression or submission. Accordingly, the process of socialization is a blunting of sensibilities, and kids grow up blocking out their own pain and losing their capacity to understand another's. Damaged themselves, they grow up to damage others and perpetuate violence.

      CEDAVIDA's approach guides individuals along a process of emotional healing where, by confronting and resolving past traumas, they regain the capacity to feel and empathize. In accepting and exploring their own pain, they reclaim their right to feel and learn to be especially sensitive to the destructive effect of violent acts. CEDAVIDA operates through a growing network of trained "social therapists" who typically have become change agents after having undergone the therapy themselves. CEDAVIDA works with teachers, community workers, conflict negotiators, police, and the military in its effort to propel Colombian society from war to peace.

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    35. Work with subculture in which violence is prevalent (police families)

      Project Leader: Renae Griggs
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      In the U.S., Renae Griggs's critical insight that the profession of law enforcement—a closed community—has unique needs for stress management, is driving her to design a new approach for police officers to balance the demands of their work with positive family relations. This Ashoka Fellow and decorated law enforcement veteran is shifting the culture of policing in a more humane direction for the nation's 800,000 officers. Her goal is to remove the factors that perpetuate a subculture in policing, separating officers from their humanity and leading to abusive and self-destructive behavior, including rates of domestic violence and suicide that are two or more times the national average.

      Griggs's approach aims to encourage officers to proactively manage the grueling emotional strain of their job by seeking help from peer groups and mental health professionals at the early stages. Her strategy for effecting this paradigm shift in policing is to address these historically unspoken impacts on police officers not only at the academy but also during in-service training and again upon supervisory promotions. Additionally, it is critical that the policies and procedures within the department reflect this proactive approach. And finally, in encouraging officers to seek help, there must be a system of local services and resources in place that are confidential, easily accessible, and specifically skilled in working with law enforcement families.

      Ultimately, Griggs is planning a nationwide institute that will provide training to law enforcement managers and leaders, domestic violence advocates, mental health professionals, members of the media, and others in the criminal justice community. She wants them as part of a "train-the-trainer" model to promote safe and healthy police families who will have a seamless system of support from the beginning of officers' careers to retirement.

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    36. Teach male youth about positive relationship models

      Organization: Men Can Stop Rape
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Aggressive Models Of Masculinity

      Men Can Stop Rape (formerly Men's Rape Prevention Project) mobilizes concerned community members to prevent not only rape but also other forms of men's violence against women. It's band of members work locally, nationally, and internationally for peace, fair play, and gender justice.

      The basic premise of the organization is that men's violence is not inevitable. That rape, battering, and other forms of men's violence are learned behaviors—choices that men make to exert power and control over others that are reinforced by a society that defines manhood through domination.

      Believing strongly that men can unlearn these damaging lessons and live peacefully with women and other men, members begin by redefining what it means to be "male." Through awareness-to-action education and community organizing, they promote gender equity and build men's capacities to be strong without being violent. They encourage men to challenge harmful aspects of traditional masculinity, to value alternative visions of male strength, and to embrace their vital role as allies with women and girls in fostering gender equality and healthy relationships.

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    37. Supplement formal systems with volunteers to provide services

      Project Leader: Anuradha Kapoor
      Organization: Swayam
      Location: India
      www.swayam.infoChangemakers article
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      Anuradha Kapoor is constructing a comprehensive support system for India's women victims of violence by identifying and then inserting the missing links in the compartmentalized and highly fragmented existing system. Her organization Swayam operates as a single window to the array of services that provide the care needed by women who have walked away from violent situations in their lives. Simultaneously, this Ashoka Fellow is establishing a referral service by bringing together existing organizations into a dynamic network of professional services. In the process she has helped citizens to acknowledge violence against women as a public issue.

      Support systems for women victims of violence are heavily flawed. Law enforcement agencies are generally insensitive, and hospitals unprepared. No one organization provides all the support—psychological, legal, economic—they need nor the guidance to other help. Job trainings are limited to saturated areas. Available interventions do not help women build the strength necessary to stay away from the only kind of life they know.

      Swayam provides hospitable drop-in facilities where women have access to information, counseling, referrals, necessary contacts and follow-up with the police and legal and medical aid. A team of lawyers, doctors, and counselors work pro bono with women who approach Swayam. Additionally, many services, including case work and counseling, run on the energy of a strong volunteer corps. The volunteers play a key role in Swayam's public awareness campaigns, outreach activities, and collaboration with the media to increase pressure within the community for the cause.

      Recognizing economic independence is vital if victims are to create new, confident lives, Swayam helps clients learn self-employment skills and follows up with creative job options.

      To strengthen support networks for victims, Swayam conducts sensitization workshops with partners like the police, judiciary, and hospitals. Swayam is a part of a statewide network of advocacy groups for women and has played a leading role in successfully advocating for tougher legislation on domestic violence.

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    38. Franchise counseling services

      Project Leader: Graça Pizá de Menezes
      Organization: Clínica Psicanalítica da Violência
      Location: Brazil
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Culture Of Acceptance/Stigma of Abuse

      In Brazil where domestic violence is reaching endemic proportions, Graça Pizá de Menezes, an Ashoka Fellow, has developed a comprehensive mechanism to identify and treat its victims, while at the same time strengthening efforts to prevent its recurrence. Combining specialized treatment and public consciousness-raising in a manner unprecedented in Brazil, Menezes has successfully forged key strategic alliances with state and private entities and critically influenced public thinking on the issue.

      The statistics on violence and youth in Brazil shows incidents in the family and social spheres to be the major cause for injury and abuse. Contributing to the recurrence of this type of violence is the silence of hospitals and schools that effectively deny the scale of the problem. The general attitude is that violence in the home or within a closed community is a private matter. Doctors and teachers lacking specific training to identify and deal with the issue further aggravate this situation. Ironically, recent constitutional reforms have created opportunities for constructing an institutional framework for identifying and responding to domestic and social violence against young people. But no initiative has leveraged this legislative opening largely because doctors, lawyers, psychologists, and judges don't know how to diagnose cases of violence, or how to involve themselves appropriately when they do.

      Menezes set up a first-of-its-kind, model clinic—Clínica Psicanalítica da Violência (The Clinic Against Violence)—where treatment is focused on providing psychological counseling and legal advice to abuse victims. Simultaneously, she is forcing the issue into public domain by reaching out through trainings and awareness raising modules to schools, hospitals, police, courts, and community organizations. The result: a judicial framework and network of institutions equipped and motivated to respond to the problem.

      She plans to spread her model using a franchising strategy wherein she shares her methodology with government agencies and community coalitions, then advises them on how best to adapt her experience to their own circumstances.

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    39. Create database that stores criminal evidence in reliable, secure place

      Project Leader: Winnie Kubayu
      Organization: Centre for Criminal Justice
      Location: South Africa
      Mosaic Insight:
      Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive & Unresponsive Systems

      Winnie Kubayi, Director of the Centre for Criminal Justice (CCJ) and Ashoka Fellow, is working to ensure that the rights of women and children enshrined in the South African Constitution become part of daily practice in the Criminal Justice system.

      South Africa has strong laws protecting women's rights, especially against gender-based discrimination and domestic violence. But these are rarely implemented effectively. Practices, attitudes, and traditions entrenched in the institution of the criminal justice system act as barriers. The police, for instance, are a major obstacle in a woman's access to justice. They are the gatekeepers to the system, yet their attitude results in either withdrawal of women's complaints or incomplete reports and shoddy investigations that fail to build a convincing case at Court. Women in rural areas have the additional problem of domestic violence being regarded as a strictly private matter and victims seldom report the crimes against them.

      To make sure that cases are reported and properly documented and that the evidence properly collected to secure a conviction, the CCJ is opening Community Outreach Centres in police stations. The purpose: to ensure that the reporting is done according to proper procedures and the necessary evidence gathered. It is also an attempt to deal with repeated complaints of women and children that they had been dealt with unsympathetically when reporting acts of violence. The center works with the victims from the time the case is reported until it goes to court. After securing a conviction the center goes further and makes sure the victim gets counseling or other assistance from appropriate agencies and authorities. To raise awareness about legal recourse, CCJ runs workshops to informs communities of their rights in accessing the justice system. The CCJ collaborates with agencies in rural areas to monitor the implementation of the Prevention of Family Violence Law in rural areas.

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    40. Devise programs that recognize variations between cultures in how domestic violence is experienced, prevented

      Organization: The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC)
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention or Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive and Unresponsive Systems

      The Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community (IDVAAC) is focused on the unique circumstances of African Americans as they face issues related to domestic violence—including intimate partner violence, child abuse, elder maltreatment, and community violence. IDVAAC's mission is to enhance society's understanding of and ability to end violence in the African-American community.

      Formed in 1993, IDVAAC recognized that the "one-size-fits-all" approach to domestic violence services being provided in mainstream communities would not suffice for African Americans, who disproportionately experience stresses that can create conditions that lead to violence in the home. To that end, the institute works with families, individuals, and organizations serving the target population; legal and criminal justice systems; family and community violence practitioners; researchers; and policymakers around efforts to build the knowledge base regarding African Americans and domestic violence and to develop strategies to meet the specific service needs of this population.

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    41. Offer women intervention alternatives to leaving or involving law enforcement

      Organization: Creative Interventions
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Create Paths to Prevention and Remediation
      Mosaic Barrier: Insensitive and Unresponsive Systems

      Creative Interventions is an organization that places knowledge and power squarely within the communities where violence has occurred, making support and safety accessible for victims. It aims at stopping violence at early and multiple points of abuse, and in creating possibilities for once-abusive individuals and communities to evolve toward healthy change and transformation. While Creative Interventions is open to anyone, its target groups are communities of color, including immigrants and homosexuals.

      Mimi Kim, the founder-entrepreneur behind CR, questioned the basic premise of the inevitability of victims having to physically leave—or run away from—the situation. Re-examining the narrow options available to female and child victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, she realized that the solution lay elsewhere: in stopping violence itself.

      Creative Interventions does exactly that, by offering violence intervention resources to the community that includes knowledge to help one recognize intimate forms of violence, the skills to counter it, and support systems to back action. It offers resources toward collective, creative, and flexible solutions, breaking isolation and clearing the path for viable and sustainable systems of intervention.

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    42. Focus on first-time perpetration as a key opportunity for intervention

      Organization: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)/ Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances (DELTA)
      Location: USA
      Mosaic Insight: Increase Women's Power
      Mosaic Barrier: Women's Low Status

      The U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is responsible for protecting the health and safety of its citizens. Through its DELTA program (Domestic Violence Prevention Enhancement and Leadership Through Alliances), it is addressing intimate partner violence (IPV), a significant public health problem in the U.S. Using a systematic process called the public health approach, it defines the problem, identifies risk and protective factors, develops and tests prevention strategies, and assures widespread adoption of prevention principles and strategies.

      Prevention of all forms of IPV—from episodic violence to battering—is the cornerstone of the DELTA program, and it focuses particularly on first-time perpetration and first-time victimization. A great deal of their research is on developing an understanding of the social circumstances that lead to this type of violence. The program also works with organizations to evaluate the effectiveness of existing programs to reduce both victimization and perpetration.

      Program activities are guided by a set of prevention principles that includes reducing risk factors associated with IPV perpetration or victimization; promoting protective factors that reduce the likelihood of IPV; evidence-based program planning; using behavior and social change theories in prevention program planning and evaluation; and evaluating prevention programs and using results to inform future program plans.

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Total value:
15 000
A cash prize of US$5,000 for the top three winners.

Competition entries

Title Contributor Location
To Live in Harmony with Nature Jorge Luis Sifu... Peru
A legal service with quality and warmth Gina Yáñez De l... Peru
Collective successful experiences deriving from Prevention and Assistance in Domestic Violence Model Sofía Villalobo... Chile
I’m not a sexist guy! / I can’t stand a sexist guy! Marisa Soleto Ávila Spain
Enjoy a life free of violence Campaign to raise awareness and to inform. Iván Cadavid
PREINFANT: Program directed to improving pre-natal, natal and initial experiences of high risk families Ángeles Guiteras
Returning to the organizational path Ilave – Ayacucho - Anta Tarcila Rivera Zea Peru
El Nido (The Nest) Claudia Alejand...
School of Legal Training for Women Maria Castillo Nicaragua
Towards a Culture of Respect: Ethnic Elders Act Out and Act Up against Abuse. Marietta Haas-L...
“¡No más violencia sobre violencia!” Tammy Quintanilla Peru
Retomando el camino organizativo Ilave – Ayacucho - Anta Tarcila Rivera Zea Peru
Promoting community capabilities to prevent domestic violence Ada María López... Peru
Domestic Violence on the Local Political Agenda Teresa Campos Chong Peru
Raising Women’s Voices through Radio Worldwide Frieda Werden
Servicio de Atención a la Infancia de Progenitores Separados (SAIPS) marta surroca Spain
MOSSAVI®: a successful model for the prevention and assistance of domestic and daily violence. Amparo Mantilla...
Turnaround Paul Wyles
Turn for the Better: helping male victims of domestic violence Kathleen Bell
Breaking the Cycle Clintina Simms
Second Step: A Violence Prevention Curriculum Scott Daniels
Access to Civil Justice: Hope, Justice, Healing R. Keith Perkins
Halting the pain of domestic abuse Mary Spooner
S.O.S. Violences Sexuelles Sylvestre ASSAA
Project P.O.W.E.R. (Providing Opportunities for Women's Employment and Retention) Deborah Skowronski
Have Justice--Will Travel -- Stopping the Generational Cycle of Abuse in Rural American Families Wynona Ward
Engaging Communities to Prevent Domestic Violence Aimee Thompson
WAVE - women against violence europe Alina Zachar
National Strategy to Prevent Abuse in Inuit Communities Leesie Naqitarvik
Youth Empowerment Services (YES) Program Cindy Taylor
Canglesa Initiative to End Violence Against Native Women Karen Artichoker
When Domestic Violence Goes To Work: Employers Who Make It Their Business Cathy Willis Spraetz
Girl Fest Aldra Robinson
Resolve to Stop the Violence Project (RSVP) Delia Ginorio
Legal Support Initiative. HASINA KHARBHIH
BevelUp! DVD Juanita Maginley
Paws for Kids ‘Saving Lives’ intervention that really works Carole Marsden
Some People Just Like to Be Beat: Exploring Myths and Realities About Dating Violence Jacqueline Gonzalez
The SHARE Project (Safe Homes And Respect for Everyone): Addressing the intersections of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS Jennifer Wagman
LOVE (Leave Out Violence) Michael Maxwell
Equality Rules Louise Moyer
Life free of violence is a basic human right of all persons Jana Olearnikova
SOS (Street Outreach Services) Jane Corbett
Domestic Violence and Mental Health Policy Initiative, National Center on Domestic Violence, Trauma and Mental Health Phyllis Brashler – Because Knowledge is Power. Elizabeth Martin
End Abuse--Embrace Hope Program Kristin Shrimplin
Hidden Genocide: SEX SELECTION in India (Millions of missing girls) sabu george