Sister Guardian Initiative
Violence against women is a major barrier to women’s empowerment. To address this, SSDO developed the ‘Sister Guardian Initiative’.
This initiative taps into existing community based women groups to identify women willing to ‘stand in the gap’ for women facing abuse especially but not restricted to domestic violence and provides the immediate support female victims of violence require – safety, counseling, mediation with the husband and family members in the case of domestic violence and ultimately referrals to the police and other relevant agencies for the women.
In addition, they advocate against violence against women (VAW) at the community level and support abused women in prosecuting their case either at the community level with the extended family and village authorities, or the police and courts if the matter escalates to that level.
The SGs then make their messages and services known by working within existing systems—for example through churches, the police, and other government social services. The Sister Guardian system thus tweaks existing structures to strengthen the system of support for women victims of violence. The overall objective of this programme is to reduce violence against women at the community level
The Specific Objectives of the Initiative include:
- To provide immediate support to women facing violence through the provision of shelter, counselling, mediation and prosecution services;
- To advocate for the setting up of shelters for women facing violence;
- To provide support for women who ultimately need to prosecute their cases of violence