Mallika Dutt http://www.mallikadutt.com Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:46:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Mallika speaks at UN Women Commemoration to end VAW http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/12/mallika-speaks-at-un-women-commemoration-to-end-vaw/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/12/mallika-speaks-at-un-women-commemoration-to-end-vaw/#comments Thu, 03 Dec 2015 22:55:14 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2125 On Wednesday, 25 November, Mallika spoke along with others at the UN Headquarters in New York to mark the Day to End Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days to End Gender Violence. She shared a story about Will, a student at Indiana University-Bloomington (IU), and his transformational ...

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On Wednesday, 25 November, Mallika spoke along with others at the UN Headquarters in New York to mark the Day to End Violence against Women and the start of 16 Days to End Gender Violence. She shared a story about Will, a student at Indiana University-Bloomington (IU), and his transformational journey. Before college, he knew almost nothing of campus sexual assault. After reading about it, he began to challenge his own notions of masculinity, his peers to do the same, and joined IU MARS (Men Against Rape and Sexual assault on college campuses) to help end campus sexual assault. Culture change started with Will and has led him to take it to his peers, his campus, and his community.

Can’t see the video? Click here.

Read the transcript below:

Thank you so much.

Madame Executive Director, your Excellencies, all you amazing advocates, organizers, rabble-rousers, mobilizers. I am delighted to be here this day–this week–to Orange the World, as a proud partner of UN Women and the UN Trust Fund to end Violence against Women. Thank you. The secretary-general was one of our first global champions for our Ring the Bell/Bell Bajao campaign several years ago as well, so thank you again.

I’d like to take you on a slightly different journey. I want to introduce you to a young man called Will McElhaney, who is a 19 year old sophomore with a business major at the University of Indiana in Bloomington. Will grew up in a small town in Indiana called–I kid you not–Santa Claus. He came to the university two years ago and started to see all of these campus newspaper articles on the prevalence of sexual assault on campus. This was something that was startling to him and he wanted to do something about it. So, he became a member of an organization called MARS, which is Men Against Rape and Sexual assault on campus, an organization that Breakthrough has been working with for the last two years in our work with fraternities around the United States to address the very large prevalence of sexual assault on college campuses right here.

Will, in his journey of transformation, began to call out his brothers in his fraternity–as he is a fraternity member–and his friends every time they made comments about women that were not appropriate. He started to table condom use for safe sex and when men would come up and say “Hey, if I use a condom, it’s not rape is it,” he’d call them out that humor like that only exacerbated the problem. Will then joined with other members of MARS to create the BannerUp campaign at his university where they got 20 presidents of fraternities to put up big signs against sexual assault during what they saw was the “red zone” time–the largest number of sexual assaults against women on college campuses happen against first-year women from the first week of college to Thanksgiving.

When one of the fraternity men in a drunken moment sexually harassed women walking past the fraternity in one of the fraternities that had a banner up, Will and his brothers called that fraternity out and said you’ve gotta take action, wrote to the dean, and called a meeting of the fraternity presidents to talk about what they needed to do to step up. The BannerUp campaign used social media, as millennials and young people do so brilliantly today, and created a huge conversation around this issue not just on the Bloomington campus, which is a very big campus and also a huge party school, but across universities in the area. And now more and more people–more and more fraternity leaders are looking at how they can step up their work to challenge sexual assault on college campuses.

Most importantly, Will says that his own understanding of himself as a man and his notions of masculinity have undergone a transformation. Being cool and being a guy isn’t about how many women you can have sex with–without or with their consent–or about how drunk you can get or how many parties you can attend. He is reexamining his whole notion of what it means to be a man, what it means to show up, and he’s challenging his brothers and his friends to do the same thing. Being a peer who challenges your peers has been shown to be one of the most effective ways of creating norm change. And it’s not an easy thing to do.

At the end of the day, violence against women and girls can only come to an end if it is prevented. We cannot turn every home into a domestic violence shelter, and we cannot put all perpetrators in jail. That’s not the vision of the world that we want to live in. We want a world where notions of gender are about the right of all of us to live on this planet with dignity, with equality, with justice. The only way to that vision of our world is by including men and boys in that journey. By making sure that we engage in transformation at the individual level, at the interpersonal level, at the community level, at the structural level–that’s how change happens across the ecosystem.

We spend a lot of time these days focusing on violent extremism. Violent extremism is really sort of the far end of the kinds of gender norms that we allow to exist on a daily basis for men and for women–especially for women and girls being at the receiving end of the toxicity of those gender norms every single day. So, when we talk about the extremes–really, the journey has to begin within, between, among–wherever we stand.

And so today, if Will is watching, I want to say, hey Will. Keep up the good work. And I want to invite men and boys around the world to join this movement–to join this movement to say violence against women and girls is not acceptable. Simply unacceptable. And that the world we all want to live in–that we dream about–can happen right here and right now, if we all join that journey.

Thank you so much.

Thank you so much, Ms. Dutt. And Will, if you’re watching–and all the Wills out there–thank you so much for what you’re doing. We cannot thank you enough.

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Dutt speaks at IOM Forum on Global Violence Prevention http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/11/dutt-speaks-at-iom-forum-on-global-violence-prevention/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/11/dutt-speaks-at-iom-forum-on-global-violence-prevention/#comments Thu, 12 Nov 2015 20:21:49 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2118 In late October, Mallika Dutt traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak at the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention workshop: Addressing the Social and Cultural Norms that Underlie the Acceptance of Violence. She presented with others on “The Intersection of Norms and Technology, Communications, and Media.”

Watch her ...

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In late October, Mallika Dutt traveled to Washington, D.C. to speak at the Institute of Medicine’s Forum on Global Violence Prevention workshop: Addressing the Social and Cultural Norms that Underlie the Acceptance of Violence. She presented with others on “The Intersection of Norms and Technology, Communications, and Media.”

Watch her presentation here.

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Mallika Dutt speaks at DV Conference in Brooklyn http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/11/mallika-dutt-speaks-at-dv-conference-in-brooklyn/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/11/mallika-dutt-speaks-at-dv-conference-in-brooklyn/#comments Tue, 03 Nov 2015 16:51:03 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2088 On October 1, Mallika spoke at Brooklyn Law School on a panel for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Conference – Addressing Violence Against Women: Collaborative Approaches in the 21st Century. She spoke for a panel whose subject was “The Link between Local Prosecutors and the Global Movement ...

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On October 1, Mallika spoke at Brooklyn Law School on a panel for the Kings County District Attorney’s Office’s Domestic Violence Conference – Addressing Violence Against Women: Collaborative Approaches in the 21st Century. She spoke for a panel whose subject was “The Link between Local Prosecutors and the Global Movement to End Violence Against Women.”

Read the transcript below:

I just want to start by saying thank you to Michelle, to the Brooklyn DAs office, to this wonderful law school, and to all of you for putting this day together, and for showing up, and being so incredibly present. I was commenting to Michelle earlier that I’ve been to lots of conferences and spoken at a bunch of places, but the kind of attention and presence in this room has been just astounding and it’s pretty remarkable considering that you’ve been talked at for a while now and that we’ve been talking about stuff that’s actually really painful and difficult and traumatic at multiple levels.

I also want to say thank you to each and every one of you in this room for all that you do because we get caught up in the language of the law and we think about the work that we’re doing in the context of the law without really understanding how much of ourselves ends up getting put on the front line in doing this work. The kind of trauma and pain that we carry from our own lives as well as the pain and trauma that we pick up from everybody that we are serving. Take a moment to look to your left and to your right and recognize one another and yourselves for being such incredible powerful advocates and healers in addressing what is the world’s largest pandemic–and that is of violence against women. Really, thank you from the bottom of my heart for everything that you all do.

On September 13, I saw these headlines about the Egyptian Army bombing a group of Mexican tourists in the desert by mistake and how many people have died. And it wasn’t until the next morning that I discovered that one of the people that had been killed in the mistaken bombing was a very dear friend of mine. His name was Rafael Bejarano and he was this incredible healer. A shaman. A musician. And, it was once again a reminder for me how interconnected our lives are. That a random, bizarre incident in the Egyptian desert where the Egyptian Army bombs a group of tourists that are at an oasis having lunch is intimately and deeply connected to my life.

And so it is with the work that we do in Brooklyn and NYC and around the world that our lives–no matter where we are–are intimately interconnected to one another. The local is global, and the global is local in just the most profound ways and I think that we’ll all come to understand that–even beyond just thinking about “what are the cultural norms over there?” and “how do we address them over here?”–to really understand in all the stories that we heard this morning is that the cultural norm of violence against women is pretty universal. We might have different variations on the theme, but at its fundamental core it is really the same thing that we’re dealing with over and over again.

You might be wondering why I’m sharing Rafa’s death as an example of showing the interconnectedness when we’re here talking about intimate partner violence … The cultural violence that we live with on a daily basis in the streets of New York and around the world–I have come to believe–really starts with the way in which violence is perpetrated and allowed in the home. This is the place where the first distinction between human beings gets made; between men and women; where the other gets created; where the paradigm of one group of people having power over another group of people first comes into existence; and–in that family unit where many of us are born and grow up–the values of how we then go about our lives in society come into being. And so boys grow up thinking that to be masculine means to be tough, to use violence as a tool to resolve conflict, that women can be abused–that they can be second class citizens. And women grow up thinking that they are second class citizens and that it is okay for men to behave in this way.

And so, our most fundamental construct of “what does masculinity?” mean and “what does femininity mean” within the whole, begin with this allowance of violence as a way of being. Even with reference to the statistics that we just heard … Violence against children in the home is also a pandemic, right? If violence as a tool is okay within the home, then it’s no accident, I think, that we then watch it play itself out in gangs, on the streets, in the army, in wars, and having the arms trade be one of the biggest billion dollar–multi-billion dollar industry on this planet. It’s all connected.

That’s one of the points I do want to make because there is a way in which we sometimes can start thinking about intimate partner violence as this thing between a couple–whether it’s a man and a woman or any other variation on this theme–that we then somehow have to marshal all these resources to address and sometimes lose sight of how–really–we are on the front lines of transforming something that affects every aspect of how we come together as human beings on this planet.

And I think it’s really, really important for us to step into owning that part of what intimate partner violence is. You already heard about how it’s a much larger human rights issue; that it’s about women’s public and political participation; it’s about their ability to step into the economic system. I posit that it is actually about the core of the values system on how we live lives, how we treat one another, how we treat other species, and how we treat the planet itself. This conference today for me is pivotal to this question of what is the world that we want to live in? Who are we? What are creating together in terms of our becoming? And what we can transform within the home? It will be absolutely critical to answering that question.

The second thing I just want to say is that prosecution and law enforcement as we hear many times in this room is one pillar of a prevention strategy. It cannot–as we all know–be the solution to this problem. We have to combine a prevention strategy of enforcement and prosecution with culture change, with transformations in economic systems, political systems, and social systems. There is no way in hell that we can marshal all the resources necessary to really address this pandemic simply through a legal process. It’s simply not possible.

I make this point to say that if we can step into understanding ourselves as one key pillar of a larger strategy, then our ability to be interconnected with those other strategies becomes better. We become smarter and more strategic about how we are weaving in and out of working with a culture change strategy. Working with men and boys. Figuring out what legislation needs to happen as well as making sure that we are keeping women and kids and everybody safe and protected in the actual work that we’re doing.

But, it’s really important to understand that we are part of a larger change–a larger culture change that has to happen. You’re going to hear a lot more about that in our next panel and my colleague from Breakthrough, Phoebe Schreiner, will be sharing some of the work that we do specifically at Breakthrough–which is where I work–but I’m kind of using my time to really just share some insights from my thirty years of working on this issue.

So, if prosecution is one piece of a larger strategy and we’re thinking about culture change in this broader way, even things like what happened at our erstwhile government when Cecile Richards was testifying a very short while ago, the way in which she was attacked is part of the culture that we need to change. Political leaders–male political leaders–need to understand that it’s political suicide for them to treat women in the way in which they continue to treat women. And that’s not just true in other parts of the world–that’s just as true in these United States of America.

When we’re talking about culture change, it’s getting to that place where we make certain kinds of behavior unacceptable. It’s not acceptable to treat women in the way in which they’re currently treated and that is true whether it’s in the halls of our government in the United States or whether it’s in our homes in India. Right?

I just want to make that point of us understanding that the piece that we hold in this room of prosecution and law enforcement is absolutely critical and it’s part of this larger, much more multi-pronged strategy that we need to come together with and move forward with. And working with men and boys, for example, is another critical piece of that whole.

The last thing that I just want to say after thirty years of doing this work is that it’s really hard work. It is relentlessly difficult work. I went on sabbatical over the summer, and it was the first time that I had had a break and there was this one moment when I was walking through this valley in Peru–in the Sacred Valley of Peru–and I was surrounded by all of these mountains, and it was just one of those sacred, beautiful, divine moments. And I felt this kind of crack, this cracking in my system around me, and I started to cry. And I cried for four hours. And I realized that I was shedding the pain and the stories and the trauma of all of those thousands and thousands and thousands of women and girls and boys and men that I had listened to, worked with, represented, engaged with, and whatever with, and that they were all in my body. You know, we learn how to say things like “she was burned,” “she was killed,” “she was maimed” with these impassive faces to talk about some of the most egregious, horrible things that human beings can do to one another. We can sit at our conferences–we sit across the table from people–and we have to learn how to talk about this stuff in this strong, clear–we’re lawyers, we’re advocates, we can’t show emotion.

All of that pain goes somewhere, right? I mean, it’s just not possible to be doing this work without having all of those things impact us as well. As many walls as we might be creating to making ourselves safe and secure. And most of the time, we’re carrying our own pain and trauma because I would hazard a guess a significant number of people in this room have experienced some form of violence either themselves or have watched it with somebody in their family or a friend. It’s not like we’re just dealing with people out there. We’re dealing with all of this ourselves.

My third and last point that I’d just like to share today is self-care is essential in this work. We have a tendency for those of us who do advocacy–those of us who are lawyers; those of us who are a part of social change movements–to always be focused on the external and what needs to happen externally and we forget that we really need to take care of ourselves along the way. Because, after all, at the end of the day, what are we all trying to do? We’re trying to create this world, right? Our value system and why we all do this work that is so hard, so challenging, so difficult is because we deeply believe that women and men and kids have the right to live with dignity, with equality, with justice. That they have the right to live violence-free, express themselves, thrive. That’s what brings you all to this work, right? It’s not because we’re all masochists who kind of wake up every morning and just want to whip ourselves for some bizarre reason. There’s a vision of the world that we’re trying to create that brings us, that drives us, that fuels our passion. And so, that world where each one of us can thrive has to happen by making sure we create the conditions in our own lives for ourselves to thrive as well. And for ourselves to thrive as well means that we have to take care of ourselves as much as we take care of everybody around us.

There’s no “there there” in this vision. There’s no, you know, “someday we will wake up and we’ll be over the rainbow and the sun will be shining and bluebirds will be singing and it’s like somewhere out there in that distant horizon–” No. I have come to understand that that world has to be the world that we step into ourselves every single day. And that’s the only way in which we’re going to manifest this world now.

One of the things that Rafael used to say was “May your day be filled with angels in disguise.” Like I said: he was a healer. He was a shaman. He was a musician. He had this incredible laugh and this was one of the things he always used to say. And I just want to say to all of you that in the work that you do and the way that you show up for women and kids and men who are in such pain and such trauma is that you are the angels in disguise in their lives. So, thank you.

You can find the transcript here.

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Mallika Dutt joins the New York City Commission on Gender Equity http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/06/mallika-dutt-joins-the-new-york-city-commission-on-gender-equity/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/06/mallika-dutt-joins-the-new-york-city-commission-on-gender-equity/#comments Tue, 30 Jun 2015 17:05:32 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2072 “I am honored and humbled to join this group of accomplished leaders who can help New York City become a place where all people enjoy their human rights and live with equality, dignity and justice,” she says. “Locally and globally, we stand at a tipping point where deep culture change ...

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“I am honored and humbled to join this group of accomplished leaders who can help New York City become a place where all people enjoy their human rights and live with equality, dignity and justice,” she says. “Locally and globally, we stand at a tipping point where deep culture change is within our grasp, and I believe that New York can lead the way. Together, we can build a city—and a world—where homes and streets are safe, relationships are healthy, and opportunity is equal for all.”

The Office of the Mayor announced the establishment of the New York City Commission on Gender Equity to achieve economic mobility and social inclusion of all New Yorkers, particularly women and girls, and ensure their public safety. That’s great news in and of itself, but it gets better: this diverse group of leaders on the commission, spanning public and private industries, non-profit organizations, and academia, includes Breakthrough founder, president, and CEO Mallika Dutt.

We would also like to congratulate all of the highly accomplished and respected members of the Commission: Julissa Reynoso, Anne Hess, Radhika Balakrishnan, Cecilia Gaston, Tiloma Jayasinghe, Taina Bien-Aime, Abigail Disney, Jennifer Buffett, Celeste Smith, Yrthya Dinzey-Flores, Silda Palerm, Gloria Steinem (Honorary), and Janet Dewart Bell (Honorary).

“New York is a city spiritually defined by inclusion and diversity, and it’s imperative that all New Yorkers, regardless of sex, gender or sexual orientation, are treated equally,” said Mayor de Blasio. “This historic new commission will help us use every tool we have to create a truly equal city for all New Yorkers.”

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“Human rights begin with you” with Mallika Dutt at the Indian Consulate http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/05/human-rights-begin-with-you-with-mallika-dutt-at-the-indian-consulate/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/05/human-rights-begin-with-you-with-mallika-dutt-at-the-indian-consulate/#comments Wed, 06 May 2015 17:50:19 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2062 Mallika will be presenting “Human rights begin with you” at the Indian Consulate on May 18.

Please join us on Monday, 18th May, 2015 from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm at the Consulate Ballroom at 3 East 64th Street, New York, NY-10065 (Between Madison & Fifth Avenues)

Kindly RSVP to ...

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Mallika will be presenting “Human rights begin with you” at the Indian Consulate on May 18.

Please join us on Monday, 18th May, 2015 from 6.00 pm to 7.30 pm at the Consulate Ballroom at 3 East 64th Street, New York, NY-10065 (Between Madison & Fifth Avenues)

Kindly RSVP to culture@indiacgny.orgby May 15, 2015

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Mallika interviewed by WMC Live’s Robin Morgan http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/03/mallika-interviewed-by-wmc-lives-robin-morgan/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/03/mallika-interviewed-by-wmc-lives-robin-morgan/#comments Mon, 30 Mar 2015 15:49:52 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2057 Live with Robin Morgan and learn about strategies on culture change to violence and discrimination against women and girls....]]> Tune in to Live with Robin Morgan and learn about strategies on culture change to violence and discrimination against women and girls.

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Mallika Dutt featured in Vogue India http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/01/mallika-dutt-featured-in-vogue-india/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/01/mallika-dutt-featured-in-vogue-india/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 18:10:26 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2049 “In transforming both men and women, we’re building a new world for everyone.”

Pick up your copy of Vogue India this month or you can read the piece here! ...

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“In transforming both men and women, we’re building a new world for everyone.”

Pick up your copy of Vogue India this month or you can read the piece here!

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“Men are problem and solution to violence against women.” http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/01/men-are-problem-and-solution-to-violence-against-women/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2015/01/men-are-problem-and-solution-to-violence-against-women/#comments Thu, 22 Jan 2015 16:14:39 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2047 Mallika was interviewed at DNA Info. You can read the complete interview here. You can read a snippet below.

Why only focus on women/gender issues? Gender intersects with all issues; it is not a category by itself. It is affected by everything and affects everything. Violence against women is ...

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Mallika was interviewed at DNA Info. You can read the complete interview here. You can read a snippet below.

Why only focus on women/gender issues?
Gender intersects with all issues; it is not a category by itself. It is affected by everything and affects everything. Violence against women is also the largest pandemic in the world. I believe that the first place that human being create an ‘Us vs Them’ attitude is with women. The first objectification happens with women. Kids grow up watching the inequality in homes. There is a direct link between how we treat women and how we treat other marginalised communities. This creates a pathway for many other issues to be addressed.

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Mallika featured on Sayfty http://www.mallikadutt.com/2014/12/mallika-featured-on-sayfty/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2014/12/mallika-featured-on-sayfty/#comments Mon, 15 Dec 2014 14:56:02 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2036 Mallika has been featured on Sayfty. Read her inspirational interview here.

Meet Sayfty’s #Extraordinaire for December – Mallika Dutt, the Founder & CEO of Breakthrough, a global human rights organization. She is an Indian-American human rights activist and has twice been named one of Verve’s Top 50 most influential ...

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Mallika has been featured on Sayfty. Read her inspirational interview here.

Meet Sayfty’s #Extraordinaire for December – Mallika Dutt, the Founder & CEO of Breakthrough, a global human rights organization. She is an Indian-American human rights activist and has twice been named one of Verve’s Top 50 most influential women. Breakthrough’s mission is to end violence and discrimination against women and girls. Working out of centers in India and the U.S., Breakthrough has reinvented the delivery of socio-cultural change through a mix of multimedia campaigns and community engagement.

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The Lancet launches VAWG series http://www.mallikadutt.com/2014/12/the-lancet-launches-vawg-series/ http://www.mallikadutt.com/2014/12/the-lancet-launches-vawg-series/#comments Tue, 02 Dec 2014 18:01:57 +0000 alice http://www.mallikadutt.com/?p=2033 Mallika Dutt along with other brilliant minds in the field including: Lori Michau from Raising Voices Uganda & GBV Prevention Network, Jessica Horn from Akiiki Consulting, Amy Bank from Puntos De Encuentro, and Cathy Zimmerman from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine wrote an eye-opening and inspiring piece on ...

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Mallika Dutt along with other brilliant minds in the field including: Lori Michau from Raising Voices Uganda & GBV Prevention Network, Jessica Horn from Akiiki Consulting, Amy Bank from Puntos De Encuentro, and Cathy Zimmerman from London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine wrote an eye-opening and inspiring piece on best practices in VAWG prevention and culture change.

Evidence shows that with the right kind of commitment to key values and principles, we can make this happen within a generation. Together we can create a culture in which all people are safe, respected, and able to be their best selves.

Inspired? You can read the paper here! http://brkth.ru/1B6cf21

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