‘Time to break the silence’

‘Time to break the silence’

International Day for Elimination of Violence against Women observed in Kohima

 

Morung Express News
Kohima | November 25

 

“It is time to break the silence because silence encourages the perpetrators,” said Joseph Hesso, Superintendant of Police Kohima on the International Day for Elimination of Violence Against women, which was commemorated in Kohima today under the theme ‘Break the Chain; Stop the Violence.’ The event was held at Molu Ki, Paramedical Colony, Kohima, and organized by the North East Network and State Resource Centre for Women.

 

Affirming that violence against women cuts across age, class, tribe, religion, denominations, geography and that it occurs not only in the public space but often in the domestic or personal spheres, Wekowe-u Tsuhah, Program Manager, NEN noted that women are often left invisible and silenced.

 

And despite the progression of Naga women in recent years in education, skills, confidence, employment, gender based discrimination and violence against women strongly persists. The wall of silence and taboo are often obstacle that prevents communities from getting actively involved with the cause. “But somewhere we must begin. We all must act to break the chain of violence and the first step is to breaking the silence. We must remember that by remaining silent about violence, we are perpetuating violence. Perpetrators and even entire societies choose to commit violence and thus they can choose to stop violence,” added Tsuhah.

 

A call to action towards ending violence against women and girls was shared by Bano Vinito, Chairperson, Nagaland State Social Welfare Board who stressed on the need for the public to be made more aware on existing laws to protect women which can be utilized to prevent discrimination.

 

“Gender related issues should be included in the text books for education at all levels so that our children grow up shaped with mindsets to respect gender equality,” asserted Vinito adding that more awareness should be created about the role that family plays in inculcating values in children. Hence the need to teach children so that the values of gender equality, respect, dignity and inclusiveness are naturally a part of their being and lifestyles. Vinito urged the participants to pledge towards ensuring elimination of violence against women and restoring women’s dignity and rights.

 

The event was also attended by Rovilatuo Mor, Deputy Commissioner, Kohima as the Guest of Honor, who in his speech noted that violence is not just physical but psychological, emotional and attitudinal, which hampers the growth of society, human communities and the family.

 

Further appreciating the positive trend in Nagaland where women are excelling much more than men, Mor humorously stated, “A day may come when men have to fight for reservation, contrary to the present situation.”

 

Increase in violence against women
In the backdrop of increasing violence against women, Joseph Hesso today appealed for people to work together to control violence and crime against women. “Crime against women is becoming quite common in Nagaland. Since 2011, the state has witnessed an increase in growing violence against women. There are so many unreported cases where victims suffer silently. We cannot keep claiming that Nagaland is the safest place in India because it is no longer a safe place,” lamented Hesso.

 

He further pointed out that in 2011, 5 cases of crimes against women were registered followed by 7cases in 2012, 16 in 2013, 24 in 2014 and 23 cases in 2015 till date.

 

Hesso noted that family environments are a major factor regarding people who perpetrate these crimes. School dropouts, peer pressure, negative usage of internet etc are also other factors, he said.

 

Admitting that the police are not trained to deal with such kinds of cases where criminals can be counseled and corrected, the SP appealed for the support of NGOs and civil societies.

 

Hesso further urged the public to come forward and correct the police forces if they experience any shortcomings. “I assure all of you that we will give our best to provide safety and security to the women and children of Kohima. Help us to serve you better,” said the Kohima SP.

 

Later, a debate was held on the topic, ‘Nagaland is the safest place in India, where Kivi Swu from Kohima Science College, and Tsekhuli Thopi from Mt Hermon emerged winners. Ngashu Phom from Mezhur Higher Secondary School bagged the second prize. An awareness concert was also held featuring Alobo Naga and the band, Symphony Academy of music, The Elementz, Tiarenla and Tali Angh.