In the Lango Sub region, cases of Domestic Violence are very rampant. These are at most times handled by Cultural Leaders and Local Council 1 Chairpersons in the communities.
Since 2014, ACFODE with the support of Medica Mondiale has implemented a project titled; “Empowering citizens and strengthening Local Councils to promote violence free communities,”
Female participants engaged in discussing ways of eradicating GBV during the training.
The project was simultaneously implemented in two sub-countries of Ibuje and Akokoro, in Apac district, between April 2014 and March 2015. The project sought to address the high prevalence of domestic and sexual gender based violence in the region, by increasing knowledge and awareness on the Domestic Violence Act (2010) among Chairpersons of Local Councils I (LC1s) and further still, through, strengthening the capacity of community facilitators also known as Community Agents of Change (CACs), for continuous and sustainable community sensitization, handling and referral of domestic violence cases.
ACFODE implemented the project in collaboration with Apac district Local Government, specifically the Sub-county leadership , the Police, Health Workers, likeminded CBOs in the district like WACANE – (Women and Child Rights Advocacy Network) and CADOVIC – (Campaign Against Domestic Violence in Communities), as well as the direct project beneficiaries that is the LC1s and CACs, through a number of activities that included; induction meetings for the formerly trained CACs, refresher trainings for the CACs ,on Gender Based Violence, basic counseling and documentation of domestic violence cases , trainings of LC1 Chairpersons on the DVA Act 2010 and follow up meetings with the CACs and LC1 Chairpersons. All activities during this project aimed at streamlining the referral pathway for effective handling and follow up on domestic violence cases.
As a result, there has been increased understanding and usage of the DVA by different stakeholders in the communities. The trainings on the DVA enlightened the CACs and LC1 chairpersons on the different forms of violence against women and girls, which most people in the communities were ignorant of. The trainings also acted as a tool in creating awareness on the legal implications of violence
“We are overjoyed that the partnership has been a great success; it has raised awareness on Domestic Violence prevention within the target communities and beyond. There has also been an increase in reporting cases of Domestic Violence through the strengthened referral system.” CADOVIC – Programme Coordinator, Apac
Gentlemen at the forefront of eradicating GBV: a male trainee reacts to the presentation during one of the trainings.
As part of the activities to mark the end of the project period, ACFODE carried out an evaluation exercise to assess the performance of the project, including the extent to which interventions on domestic violence have decoded into violent free relationships, families and communities and how this has realized ACFODE’s and Medica Mondiale’s strategic goals and objectives, alongside national and international goals on Gender Based Violence.
The evaluation also examined factors which proved critical in helping or hindering change and drew lessons for future programming. The evaluation additionally realized a challenge in low female representation at the LC1 level (out of 150 LCIs in Ibuje and Akokoro, only 4 are female) and that majority of the victims of domestic violence who in most cases are women and girls, lack legal representation (Lawyers) at the courts of law.
Gender and Economic Policy Department