- Opening up the issue of violence must be done with great care and sensitivity as some girls may find this activity difficult or upsetting. Be prepared for surprises and to assist anyone needing support. You cannot know everyone's background or what is happening or has happened in their family.
- Some girls may have witnessed or experienced violence themselves.
- Some may or may not want to tell their stories to the group or privately to the facilitator. It is also possible that some may not have realized their experience was abusive until this Activity.
- Be informed about confidential counseling services; check with another local women's organization to get information to share with girls if they need support.
- Make sure that everyone knows and understands the principles of participatory group work: that everyone should be treated with respect, that what anyone says is held in confidence and that no one is to feel under pressure to say which makes them feel uncomfortable.
- Research violence against women in your country, prepare some information and statistics to present to the group.
- Choose the stories that highlight the type of violence most prominent in your community, or the types of violence you want to highlight to girls. You may want to change the names or details of the stories to be relevant in your cultural context.
- Talk to some girls before the session starts and ask them to read or act out the stories at the beginning of the activity.
- Arrange seats in a circle and place flipchart paper where it will be seen by everyone.
- To dramatise different forms of violence against women and to stimulate discussion.
- Begin by writing ‘VIOLENCE’ on the flipchart. Ask the girls to tell you what comes to mind when you say the word ‘violence’ and write or draw these.
- Select volunteers to read or act out selected stories to the group, which depict different forms of violence.
- Explain that some of the stories will be read by volunteers. The stories will present some examples of how violence affects young women.
- The volunteers read their stories.
- After the readings, ask the readers about their impressions of the stories they read.
- Ask all girls what forms of violence were portrayed. Was each person experiencing violence? Were there similarities in the stories?
- On the flipchart paper, write down any key terms as they are mentioned.
- Talk about the different forms of violence and how violence against women can be:
- Note differences in what young women consider an act of violence to be.
- Present some of the information and statistics about violence against women in your country, if possible.