Building homes without violence

Disciples of Non-Violence in Peru aims to promote the development of women and children by acknowledging them as central actors in change that affects them.

Stones commemorate the dead

About the program

The 2009 Demographic and Health Survey found that nearly 2 out of every 5 women in Peru experienced physical violence from their husband or partner at some point in their life.

Disciples of Non-Violence aims to promote the development of women and children by acknowledging them as central actors in change that affects them. The program works to minimise violence against women and children and to build the capacity of group members through workshops and community support groups that address the social implications of poverty.

A non-violence banner

The project strengthens communities by promoting solidarity to address issues such as unemployment, underemployment, alcoholism and domestic violence. Education and civic participation are seen as vital tools in achieving effective development.

With a focus on promoting equality between men and women, the program hopes to encourage open communication about gender roles and responsibilities, and the value of women’s contribution to society. The program builds the capacity of group members so they can combat the social implications of poverty and actively engage in national peace and reconciliation.

The initiative runs non-violence programs with families, community groups, schools and government agencies to counter systematic violence, and works within institutions like the police, military and schools to educate about alternative conflict resolution techniques.

Recognising the role that disadvantage plays in much violence, the program works to improve community health by providing access to water and sanitation and helping to build community gardens. Consultation with communities has found that poverty – and especially a lack of food – is the root cause of much violence within families. Community and home gardens that supply food are now seen as a priority for reducing domestic violence. The gardens have been found to promote communication between family members and to have allowed women and children to make a demonstrable contribution to their family's material wellbeing. The gardens also seem to have encouraged men to attend non-violence workshops.

The project also conducts advocacy in the area of citizenship, rights and responsibilities, with an aim of countering the social fragmentation caused by poverty, violence and the denial of basic human rights.

Program details