MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- In the last few months, there has been a rise in the need for domestic violence services as the world shut down and survivors were quarantined with their abusers. "Safe at home" has been accurate for some, but not for all. As Domestic Violence Awareness month approaches this October, global humanitarian organization, Alight, has expanded its training of the SASA! Methodology, a unique, impactful and community-driven approach to addressing domestic violence that was created by the organization's long standing partner in this initiative, Raising Voices.
The SASA! Methodology is designed to address a core driver of violence against women and girls and those with HIV/AIDS: the imbalance of power between women and men, girls and boys. Led by shared human experiences, the SASA! Methodology inspires and enables communities to rethink and reshape social norms that condone violence against women.
"Knowledge about prevention is just one step in the process of combating gender-based violence, but it's a step where we can involve the entire community in creating solutions," said Daniel Wordsworth, Alight CEO. "Through building community awareness and strengthening women's own leadership and capacity to help others, we can make a big impact in reducing violence."
The SASA! program is structured in a way that's easy to implement and strengthens the capacity of community activists, similar to that of a "neighborhood watch." Alight works with communities to get them connected to the issue of domestic violence, to understand it, analyse it and feel compelled to do something about it, thereby enabling individuals to start the journey of change. While refugee settlements and camps, along with other low-income communities, create tight knit structures where women and girls become involved as community activists, SASA! affords approachable ways for engaging men as advocates in preventing gender-based violence as well - even former perpetrators - to educate and empower as ambassadors for change.
"Men can also make a huge difference in changing attitudes, so we engage men and boys to help them better understand the effects of violence and to give them the tools to speak up," said Noume Bazinzi, Alight Gender Based Violence / Protection Coordinator for Uganda. "We believe that we are strongest when working alongside communities, ensuring that at-risk groups have the resources they need to feel empowered and protected."
The need for expanding the SASA! Methodology to communities in locations throughout Uganda is now much greater due to the impact and stress felt from COVID-19. Since the pandemic began, the number of domestic violence cases around the world has increased, and proves to be an unfortunate, yet unifying tie between the U.S. and Uganda, as cases between April through August have risen by about 40 percent in the six Alight program locations.
ABOUT ALIGHT Established in 1978 by founder Neal Ball, Alight, formerly known as American Refugee Committee, provides health care, clean water, shelter, protection and economic opportunities to more than 3.5 million people in 19 countries each year. Alight believes in the incredible creativity, potential, and ingenuity of the displaced and works to shine a light on their humanity, the tremendous amount of good that's already happening and the possibilities to do more. The organization exists to see and help every person make meaningful change in the world – from displaced and marginalized communities in Africa, Asia and the Americas to...anyone, anywhere. Learn more about Alight at www.wearealight.org.