Wed, Jul 03, 2013 - Page 5 News List

Ex-abuse victims’ theater troupe to take stage in HK

Staff writer, with CNA

Teenage members of the Girls drama group, which is sponsored by the Garden of Hope Foundation, appear at a press conference in Taipei on Monday before traveling to perform in Hong Kong.

Photo: Hsieh Wen-hua, Taipei Times

A Taiwanese theater group composed of former abuse victims are to present their life stories on stage in Hong Kong this month to inspire girls who have had similar experiences, the Garden of Hope Foundation said at a press conference on Monday.

The foundation supervises the all-female group, called Girls, which consists of six members aged between 14 and 17 who suffered domestic violence, sexual abuse or childhood neglect. The show in Hong Kong will be the group’s debut performance abroad.

The group is to stage a 40-minute play comprising six monologues in which each member narrates their life story, said Yang Chin-hui, director of the Garden of Hope Foundation’s Kaohsiung Service Center.

A video clip preview of the play was presented at the press conference.

In one of the monologues shown in the clip, the narrator asks why adults are so scary as she recounts how she and her sister were physically abused by their parents and brother. The other performers then gather around the narrator and speak for her.

“Acting helps the girls find their voices,” Yang said. “Many of them now feel more at ease with themselves and can express what they do and do not want.”

Moreover, the drama therapy helps the girls form close friendships and improve their interpersonal skills, Yang added.

“I was shy and afraid to speak up before, but now I have the courage to speak my mind,” said A-tsai, one of the members of the group.

The 15-year-old, who grew up in a single-parent family and was often neglected, said she hoped that she could inspire abuse victims in Hong Kong to pursue their dreams.

She said her dream is to become a hairdresser like her mother.

The troupe is to perform at Hong Kong’s Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women, Home Care for Girls and Caritas Pui Tak Centre from yesterday until Thursday.

Now in its fourth year, the Greater Kaohsiung-based group aims to encourage abuse victims to express themselves verbally and physically, to tell their stories through drama and to become good listeners, Yang said.

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