Source: Say No to Violence
Concerted action within communities by women'shuman rights advocates and survivors of violence is critical to successfully uprooting entrenched patterns of abuse. Discriminatory attitudes and practices can otherwise continue to make violence acceptable, even if strong legislation to stop it is in place. A UN Trust Fund grant in Kenya, for example, supported women's groups to develop alternative, nonviolent rites of passage to replace the tradition of female genital mutilation. Trust Fund grants help women's rights groups develop strategies to prevent violence and offer services to those affected by it. A grant in Haiti has enabled a women's group to assist women survivors to obtain medical care and legal redress. Communities in Honduras have formed watchdog groups to intervene in domestic violence cases.

Local activists often have the clearest understanding of which strategies will work in their communities. They can probe new entry points for action and inspire collective local commitment. They have been on the vanguard of identifying intersections among different sources and kinds of violence. Assisted by the Trust Fund, a women's network in Serbia and Montenegro has brought together activists across ethnic, religious and political lines to work on reconciliation and a common agenda of ending gender-based violence. Successful community actions, initiated and refined on a small scale, have the potential for replication nationally, regionally or even internationally. As the examples that follow show, a modest investment may not only improve the life of a community, but also inspire those it touches to carry the work forwardin the wider world.

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