Women in focus group discussions reported that Channels of Hope for Gender had started a critically important conversation that they felt was benefiting women and children. Women became more outspoken and critical about the lack of response from different service providers and talked more openly about community perceptions and women’s experiences of gender equality and domestic violence. Men were also found to be generally more willing to discuss gender-based violence and gender relations within their communities.
There was an improvement in awareness and linkages to service providers for survivors of gender-based violence, and key community focal points "were clearly supporting survivors to reach such services".
Maddy, who is an influential community member and a well-respected early childhood education teacher, came across a domestic violence case in her community. Maddy immediately reassured the victim and referred her to the Family Support Centre, to receive counselling.
She recalls, "Before I began participating in World Vision’s Community Vision 4 Change project as a focal point, I felt that I did not have the appropriate knowledge to refer survivors of gender-based violence to support services such as health clinics, police or the Family Support Centre. Now I understand the different referral processes and what information about the incidents I need to report on. I feel much more confident to support people who experience gender-based violence to seek support from these services. I also have a much better understanding of my role as a focal point linking survivors of gender-based violence to appropriate support services."
Overwhelmingly, church elders, pastors, community members and other participants in both project sites expressed long-term commitment to the reduction of violence in the communities, and to the continuation of the Community Vision for Change project. By changing community attitudes and behaviours, women and children are better protected against violence, and families are safer, happier and healthier.
Read the Channels of Hope for Gender in the Solomon Islands project evaluation summary here
to find out more.