Windhoek — We are proud to have officially launched # BreakFree , our Antiviolence initiative which will run for a year until December 2018. Driven by the evidence-based approach that underpins our work, we embarked on research within the Windhoek Correctional Facility. The learnings from this research have prompted a deeper analysis into the high levels of violence in general in Namibia and this is why the #BreakFree Campaign has been launched.
Dr. Chandre Gould, an expert from South Af rica with extensive experience in evidence-based violence prevention programmes was the guest speaker. Dr. Gould highlighted violence as a developmental issue and quantified the economic cost of violence in South Africa. She further shared insights into research she had conducted in South African Correctional Facilities. Dr. Gould commended Namibia for the bold stand taken on mobilizing support to end cycles of violence in her communities.
The year-long anti-violence engagement initiative was launched at an event where H.E Dr. Hage Geingob displayed great leadership and commitment by signing the “Anti-violence pledge”. The pledge is part one of the ways in which the public is asked to internalize violence and take a stand about actively being part of bringing about lasting societal change. The Office of the First Lady seeks to obtain 100 000 signatures to the Anti-Violence pledge before the end of 2018
The #BreakFree Campaign seeks to create awareness about conflict resolution, problem solving and changing problematic mindsets which fuel violent behavior. The Office of the First Lady will also work with frontline service providers and other stakeholders to change systems and influence policy that will promote help-seeking behavior and support perpetrators as well survivors of violence.
First Lady Monica Geingos elaborated on how her office will engage the public to ensure that the campaign is interactive and seeks practical and relevant solutions. The Campaign seeks to mobilise 10 ideas, propose 100 interventions, tell 1000 stories, have 10000 interactions and obtain 100000 signatures.
Every month the Office of the First Lady will release a new theme which will be unpacked through the direct and active engagement of stakeholders.
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The research conducted in the Windhoek Correctional Facility analyses the problematic mindsets of perpetrators of Gender Based Violence and will be released during the 16 days of activism (25 November -10 December 2017)