GTPE: ANTI SEXUAL ASSAULT TRAININGS FOR RURAL COMMUNITIES
In the south of Haiti, rape and abuse of women, children, and disabled persons is an almost overwhelming problem. A lack of education here about what violence is, and what abuse is, prevents those who have been abused from speaking out for themselves against their abusers, or from reporting crimes at all. In the last few years the number of reported rapes has been very high, and One Hundred For Haiti stepped in to fund the GTPE initiative, a series of educational sessions in rural communities, letting parents, teachers, and locals know what rape and abuse is, what can be done to help prevent it, and how we might respond to it.
Solidarity with women worldwide is what makes us all stronger. And reaching out to those who are underserved is an incredible first step. This work protects women from the ignorance and aggression which swells in the absence of direct support.
In many communities across Haiti, women are entirely underserved by social services in terms of anti-sexual assault efforts. One Hundred For Haiti has stepped in to fund the GTPE initiative, a social services collective who seek to support the underserved women, children, and physically challenged people of rural Haiti.
When the first GTPE anti-violence training took place in the crime troubled Haitian community of Derrière Fort, the hope was that the community would respond positively to it. This is the first time in history that any organized conversations about rape, abuse, and protecting children have ever taken place in the south of Haiti.
Response far exceeded any expectations. After the training a group volunteered from within the community to serve as a follow up committee to further educate their neighbors. They did this on their own accord. No one suggested there should be a follow up committee. They made it happen because they believed the work was important.
Their inspiration led to people in every subsequent GTPE community to form their own follow up committees like this first one.
GTPE members dress alike with intent of communicating solid messages. Often, members are seen wearing shirts that say “Standing shoulder to shoulder we will combat violence”.
The goal: increased education, less abuse (specifically for children, women, and people who are disabled), and more empowerment for communities in southern Haiti. Long term goal: expanding this project to other areas of southern Haiti so as to serve people wherever they are in need. This is only going to be possible with your help. Sign up to give a recurring monthly donation using the buttons to the right. You would be amazed at how far even $5 or $10 per month can go.
(Lower photo: audiences at a recent training in the remote community of Tiburon listen to ideas and steps for action about abuse, sexual assault, and how to recognize mistreatment of children.)