Sun, Nov 09, 2008 - Page 2 News List

Nonprofit combats domestic violence with new network

NO MORE SILENCE The Coalition Against Violence said communities cannot simply turn a blind eye to violence within families, but should rather report it

By Loa Iok-sin  /  STAFF REPORTER

In an effort to expand neighborhood networks to combat domestic violence and support victims of violence, the Taiwan Coalition Against Violence held a ceremony yesterday to welcome its first volunteers in a new campaign to educate communities.

Anyone willing to act as the alliance’s “eyes” and report domestic violence, participate in victim support programs and help raise awareness of domestic violence is welcome to contact the alliance to learn more about becoming a “friend” of the coalition.

“Domestic violence not only hurts the victims — women in most cases — the victims’ children suffer and society and the state pay high prices for such crimes as well,” coalition chairwoman Chou Ching-yu (周清玉) said at a ceremony to present certificates to the first nine people to join the drive.

Chou said that in the past, the public felt that whatever happens within a family, including violence, is a personal family matter.

“But that’s not how it works,” Chou said.

An important role for coalition “friends” will be to spread information in their communities about domestic violence and make clear that violence within the family is illegal.

“The government has made great efforts to prevent domestic violence, many non-governmental groups are also working on it, but it’s not enough,” Chou continued.

“We need more people to join us to look out for domestic violence in every corner of society and to help raise public awareness,” Chou said.

Tang Mei-yun (唐美雲), a well-known opera singer and the coalition’s first permanent member, said she signed up to volunteer because she wanted to contribute to society.

Deputy Minister of the Interior Lin Join-sane (林中森) encouraged more people to join.

“There is no place for domestic violence and sexual harassment in a civilized country like ours,” Lin said.

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