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Deep Dives: VAW Survivors’ Experiences as Pathways to Justice and Healing.

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Presentation on theme: "Deep Dives: VAW Survivors’ Experiences as Pathways to Justice and Healing."— Presentation transcript:

1 Deep Dives: VAW Survivors’ Experiences as Pathways to Justice and Healing

2 Hanggang kailan kami mag-babasag ng katahimikan? Hindi problema ang magsalita tungkol sa karahasan; ang problema ay walang nakikinig sa amin. - VAW Survivor at launch of Breaking the Silence Campaign, 1995

3 Insights on Justice and Healing from VAW Survivors* and their Service Providers 1. Survivors’ and service providers’ notions of justice and healing are to be viewed within the context of the survivors’ varied ways of dealing with their victimization. ________ *Culled from FGDs and interviews with VAW survivors who filed charges; withdrew charges; refused to file charges

4 2. Justice could mean: penalty and punishment to the offender; remorse of offender and stopping of abuse because it is seen as wrong; being believed; having access to support; 3. Healing means: becoming whole again; reclaiming self-mastery 4. Justice and healing are determined by the survivor herself, not by what is promised by the justice system;

5 5. Justice and healing are not contingent on the acknowledgment of violence or abuse or apology of the abuser. 6. While not experienced by everyone as co- terminous, justice or healing enhances the attainment of the other.

6 7. Para-legal mechanisms, e.g., adaptation of mediation or arbitration (but not conciliation), to gender-based violence, must be considered; the scope of psycho-social services and approaches should be defined and implemented in the barangay level. 8. At the rate gendered crimes are committed with impunity, alternatives to the contemporary legal system and psychosocial approaches and services need to be explored and prioritized.

7 9. Conditions under which issues of justice and healing will be implemented must preclude the silencing or coercion of women. 10. Implications on service providers of justice and healing approaches must be factored into plans and programs that address violence against women. 11. Service providers should be mindful of victim consciousness, and of their gendered victimization. 12. Men’s participation in stopping men’s violence against women must be parallel to gains achieved by women through women’s work in this field.

8 13. Using current frameworks of analysis and action as take off points, service providers should explore women’s participation as perpetrators of violence and abuse against men, other women, and children. 14. Everyone has a stake in developing alternative justice and healing modalities if individuals and communities are to heal from violence and abuse.

9 Considerations in VAW Survivors’ Access to Justice and Healing Internalized oppressions and victim mindsets Dilemmas created by rights Survivors’ notions of justice Inadequacies of the legal system Re-victimization in the legal process

10 Crimes between Strangers Crimes between Intimate Partners Happen in definable time frames; unrepeated Take place indefinitely, over a long period; escalate; are repeated Involve a woman’s emotional and economic dependence Addressed by a legal infrastructure developed around CbS Addressed by emergent mechanisms within a legal infrastructure developed around CbS

11 Proposed Framework for Justice and Healing of VAW Survivors Value Assumptions International standards for addressing violence against women require two minimum approaches: justice and healing. Justice and healing, independent of each other, can re- victimize. It is necessary to shift from healing and justice as separate approaches to VAW, to approaches where healing and justice are conjoint, if not overlapping.

12 Elements of the Framework Safety and Security Information Choice and Autonomy Truth Telling Validation Reparation

13 What the Shift to Justice and Healing Requires 1. An integration of research and practice on justice and psychosocial approaches that may result in theories that will make visible how justice and healing processes are related because: the integration of justice and healing has implications on theory and discourse on VAWC; the integration has bearing on practitioners who address VAW from ideological challenges and amplification of survivors’ voices posed by service providers and advocates from the women’s movement.

14 2. Making distinctions between (1) crimes between strangers and (2) crimes between intimate partners 3. Locating VAW in the context of unequal power relations; 4. Securing the safety, security, and autonomy of victims; holding offenders accountable and making them responsible for stopping the violence ; 5. Revisiting the roles and functions of pillars (law, courts, prosecutors, public attorneys, law enforcers [PNP, BJMP], social services [DSWD] and community) of the justice system

15 6. Revisiting beliefs, attitudes, and practices of psychosocial service providers; 7. Amplifying voices of survivors and their service providers; 8. Making visible and audible embedded utterances that re-victimize or re-traumatize survivors.

16 Deep Dives Social relations Gendered crimes Justice Psychosocial approaches Knowledge management

17 Be not the slave of your own past. Plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep and swim far, so you shall come back with self-respect, with new power, with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. — Ralph Waldo Emerson


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