SafeCircle for Survivors of Domestic Violence

by Red Dot Foundation Global
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SafeCircle for Survivors of Domestic Violence
SafeCircle for Survivors of Domestic Violence
SafeCircle for Survivors of Domestic Violence

Red Dot Foundation is a part of the Brave Movement. The Brave Movement hosted a Global Survivors Action Summit on April 27, 2022. The Summit was the first moment in which the Brave Movement came together, including survivors and allies, to align on their demands to end childhood sexual violence. The G7 nations will meet soon and the Brave Movement will insist that ending child sexual violence is on the agenda.

9 survivors of childhood sexual violence from the Brave Movement from G7 countries and beyond are urgently calling on leaders of the world to take bold and transformative action when they meet in June to end childhood sexual violence.

Childhood sexual violence is a global scourge, which at least one in five girls and one in ten boys experience. It has devastating long-term consequences for children, families, and societies. And the COVID pandemic has exposed children to even greater risk.

Ending this scourge is essential for all humanity and it demands a coordinated international response. #BeBrave and sign the petition. You can also sign the Hindi version of the petition here.

 

You can read the entire Red Dot Foundation newsletter here.

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Red Dot Foundation facilitated a series of workshops in partnership with the German Consulate General Mumbai and Mosaics & Circles for transforming experiences of gender-based violence into visual arts.

The aim of this workshop series was to

  • Help survivors break their silence around their experiences of sexual violence.
  • Create stories through visual arts that will make it easier to absorb the information.
  • Use visual arts as a therapeutic self-care routine to break the silence, find solidarity and provide an avenue to seek help.
  • Create a resource that can be used by survivors and others for prevention and response to sexual violence.

15 young people from universities in Western India (Maharashtra, the Union States of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Goa, Madhya Pradesh and the Union Territories of Daman and Diu, and Dadra and Nagar Haveli) participated in the workshops. 4 workshops of three hours each covered the following curriculum with self-practice exercises and prompts in between each workshop. The workshops were held on 2, 3, 16, 17 September 2021. Over the course of the four sessions, participants were able to creatively express themselves through the medium of art and become a part of a safe space of empathetic listeners. They were able to break their silence and speak about their experiences of sexual harassment with the facilitators’ help in the sharing circle. 

Day 1: Start Where You Are

We always started our sessions with breathing and grounding exercises leading up to a safe space to have open conversations on gender and safety. We spoke about storytelling through our bodies: expressing ourselves visually through hands, feet and dancing movements; synchronizing our thoughts and body in a motion that brings about a feeling of freedom and confidence.

Day 2: Hello, Inner Story

We discussed gender safety in India and opened dialogue on our personal stories on safety and stereotypes that have proved challenging. The participants were guided on finding their puzzle pieces: naming and describing their stories and drawing or sketching them on paper.

Day 3: Lifting Our Voices

! In the Midst of the Storm: Revisiting challenges and fears to give a different narrative to them! Towards the Future: Creating space for our stories and speaking what’s not okay; Building the muscle to be an ally.

Day 4: Dear Present Self. A Letter from the Future!

The participants were guided to delve deeper into themselves, their strengths, weaknesses, desires and aspirations through the Tree of Life. They were to use the medium of drawing to highlight personal values, strengths, weaknesses and things to work on! This being the last session everyone wrote a letter to themselves. We wrote a letter to our “future selves” from our present self; forgiving our past self; going out into the world and conquering it! And finally, everyone shared their drawings whilst the group silently expressed their feelings in the chatbox.

Every session was closed with an hour of optional networking space where one of the facilitators would stay to talk to the participants.

 

If you would like the copy of the toolkit please write to elsa@reddotfoundation.org

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 "Every child deserves to reach her or his full potential, but gender inequalities in their lives and in the lives of those who care for them hinder this reality (UNICEF). Across India, gender-based violence is a tremendous challenge. Allowing children and teenagers to become healthy and creative adults, and living life in which they harness their innate human potentials is therefore of vast importance and need.

Living through an experience of gender-based violence is a huge burden for any person, regardless of their gender. Arts practice and storytelling in a group can be a safe and meaningful container to work through and transform fears arising from such events. 

What stories can we discover, share and tell together that can educate and inspire readers - peers, parents and society alike to understand what each one of them has gone through and to take action towards stopping such events?  

Red Dot Foundation is pleased to partner with the Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany in Mumbai and Mosaics and Circles in facilitating a series of workshops entitled Art for Healing.

15 young women in Western India will undergo a series of four workshops and learn the art of storytelling, strategies to deal with survivors' trauma and create a story from their life's experience. These stories will be published in a book and will serve as a resource for survivors of sexual and gender based violence.

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Red Dot Foundation conducted a SafeCircle Facilitators training for 15 people between 19 April and 10 May. The sessions were conducted in Hindi and English. The trainings were supported by the Solidarity Fund of the Global Diplomacy Lab by the German Federal Foreign Office.

Participants were activists and representatives from various non-profits. The skills learned will enable these facilitators to host SafeCircles in their own communities for survivors. 

COVID19 has shown us the importance of mental health and awareness around it. Safe listening circles are essential in a community to provide support for survivors. Domestic violence, online harassment and homophobia/transphobia are quite widespread and SafeCircle has supported survivors experiencing these forms of violence.

We thank you for your support. Do direct any survivor who might benefit to our SafeCircle which is held every Friday at 3 pm IST. 

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SafeCircle is an initiative towards empowering our survivors of violence through constant encouragement and providing them with a platform to share their experience. Over the last 7 months, SafeCircle has  helped over 25 survivors of violence and harassment regularly to build resilience. We are nurturing SafeCircle as a platform for our survivors to find help, report and speak up against the acts of violence and abuse. Our safe haven also enables the survivors to engage with the survivor community and learn various ways to deal with violence, facilitated by Supreet K Singh.

If you would like to support SafeCircle please visit here.

For more details on our work, please check our newsletter for January.

We thank you for your continued support and love.

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Organization Information

Red Dot Foundation Global

Location: Columbia, MD - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @TheSafecityApp
Project Leader:
ElsaMarie DSilva
Columbia, MD United States
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