Domestic violence from the perspective of the Peace House

Among a series of events under the topic "Love connection in Vietnamese family" organized on the occasion of the Vietnam Family Year 2013 and the Vietnam Family Day June 28th, a seminar was held by the VWU’s Centre for Women and Development on domestic violence from the perspective of the Peace House (PH). The workshop took place at the Vietnam Exhibition Centre for Culture and Arts on the morning of June 27th.

VWU’s Vice President Tran Thi Huong chaired the seminar which attracted the participation by a large number of representatives from ministries, organizations and agencies at the central and Hanoi city level, representatives of international organizations, embassies, VWU staff, and the Peace House residents who are survivors of domestic violence.

The seminar was held to help raise awareness of the society about the role of the family and to heighten the responsibility of all levels, branches, families, individuals and the communities in the building up the Vietnamese families of happiness, advancement, equality and sustainability. This is o­ne of the events o­n the occasion of the Vietnam Family Day 2013 co-organized by the Vietnam Women's Union and the Vietnam Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

At the seminar, there was a presentation o­n the Peace House activities for the victims of domestic violence and trafficking; a report analyzing data of the cases handled by the Counseling Unit and residents in the two Peace Houses from the perspective of family issues, and presentations by functional agencies and non-governmental organizations o­n related issues. Since its establishment in 2007, the Peace Houses have supported 619 turns of victims, of which 378 related to domestic violated and 241 trafficking. 72% of the trafficking survivors have attended primary and lower secondary education levels, and most of them are under 25 years old. Nearly half of them work in the informal sector, 71% suffered from 3 forms of violence (emotional, physical and sexual violence). At the seminar, the victims told about their situations and expressed their expectations to receive increasing attention and support by policy makers and social organizations. The participants exchanged their opinions and analyzed the role of family based o­n the experiences of the two Pease Houses, the counseling, treatment and policy-related issues, and discussed the necessary measures to protect families and to prevent gender-based violence.

In her speech at the seminar, Vice President Tran Thi Huong said: "There have been many studies and surveys throughout the country o­n domestic violence. With the synthetic data from the cases of the two Peace Houses and the counseling cases, we hope to provide you with initial analysis o­n the relationship between domestic violence, human trafficking and families as well as other issues relating to marriage and family." The Vice President highlighted that through the seminar, family issues were considered from different aspects in order to find out solutions to strengthen the role of the family, to support families in their efforts against domestic violence, and to build up families of advancement, happiness, and sustainable development. o­n this occasion, the Vice President expressed gratitude of the VWU to the organizations and donors for their cooperation and support of the Peace Houses.

 After more than 6 years of operation, the Peace Houses have become a trusted address for many women and children who are survivors of domestic violence and trafficking. To date, the Peace Houses have supported over 600 trafficked women and children from 32 provinces and cities and hundreds of victims of domestic violence from over the country. Free support packages have been provided, including safe shelter, medical care, psychological counseling, legal aid, vocational training, education, life skills training, etc. After having stayed at the Peace House, the residents are physically and mentally recovered, equipped with knowledge, life skills, vocational skills, and well-prepared for their new life and community reintegration.

Translated by International Relations Department,