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Blouses with hand-stitched statements part of latest drive against domestic violence

Posted on 14 March 2014
 

 

Blouses with hand-stitched statements part of latest drive against domestic violence

Passers- by taking a look at the handstitched words on the blouses on display at the exhibition.

Passers- by taking a look at the handstitched words on the blouses on display at the exhibition.

WOMEN’S Aid Organisation recently launched a nationwide public education programme called #NoExcuseForAbuse to raise awareness on domestic violence.

Advocacy officer Sally Wangsawijaya said the campaign was aimed at victims in the early stages of domestic abuse and violence.

“This is the time when it is best to intervene as they are still deciding if things are going right in their relationships,” she said at the launch in Publika recently.

She said there were four parts to the campaign, including an installation art exhibition, until March 17 in Publika, and Hero Markets in Sri Damansara and Kampung Baru, Puchong, from March 22 to 31.

“In conjunction with International Women’s Day, the exhibition features a display of blouses with hand-stitched words representing the voices of survivors.

“Each blouse features something a survivor has told herself when she experienced abuse,” she said.

One of the blouses read “I’m afraid of him, but leaving him will just bring shame to my family”.

Another read “It’s all right, he apologised. He said he’ll never do it again”.

Wangsawijaya said they hoped that when passers-by read the shirts, they would be able to reach out to victims who shared similar thoughts and feelings.

“We have even launched an SMS helpline called TINA (Think I Need Aid) and we have included the details on each of the blouses,” she said.

She added that TINA was a virtual friend of WAO (Women’s Aid Organisation).

WAO executive director Ivy Josiah said there was a need for more extensive and detailed data collection on domestic abuse by the authorities.

“Data such as how many have withdrawn police reports and why, would help us shape our public education programmes,” she said.

She added that TINA was created to reach out to victims of abuse who may not want to make phone calls and feel more comfortable sending a text message as there was more anonymity.

The public can SMS TINA at 018-988 8058.

During the event, #NoExcuseForAbuse T-shirts were given out to the public.

One of those who received the shirts and pledged their support was Marina Kenis, 39, who said the campaign should be expanded to schools.

“Children should be educated at a young age that domestic violence is unacceptable. They may be growing up in this situation and think that it is a way of life but that is not true,” she said.

 

- Published in The Star Online 14 March 2014

 



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