By Choekyi Lhamo
TCHRD's campaign against GBV
DHARAMSHALA, NOV. 25: The Tibetan Center for Human Rights and Democracy (TCHRD) launched a campaign against Gender Based Violence (GBV) as part of UN’s annual campaign of ‘16 days of Activism’ today at the hotel Norbu House, McLeod Ganj. The campaign will showcase 16 survival stories of Tibetan women in exile from 25th Nov-10th Dec, starting today on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (25th Nov) and ending on Human Rights Day (10th Dec).
TCHRD has produced 16 video testimonies of female victims from 8 different Tibetan settlements throughout northern India. The regional chapters of the Tibetan Women’s Association (TWA) helped coordinate many of these interviews. These short videos highlight violence against women and encourage them to come forward with their stories of struggle.
The campaign stresses on how gender inequality becomes a determining factor in these crimes and tries to create a space for these important discussions in our community. The testimonies attest to a safe space for the victims where trust and empathy can be inculcated by sharing their stories. TCHRD’s circular on today’s event reads, “The women of these films appeal to other survivors to speak and demand justice. Their stories underscore how many GBV cases go unreported, allowing the perpetrators of these crimes to remain unpunished.”
When asked about the personal interviews taken for this campaign, Tenzin Dawa, researcher at TCHRD, said, “So many families of victims are incapable of dealing with such cases in their limited environment. It is important to de-stigmatize the denial of sexual violence in our community where women and men refrain from discussing such matters. The lack of standardized vocabulary in Tibetan also heavily influences the discussion since we have not yet attempted to challenge the problems of sexual violence in our community.”