To create safer spaces for women at home and outside of it, we worked with the youth (ages 15 to 35), partnering them in leading actions against sexual harassment. The programme, Preventing Violence: Change Starts Now was designed to combat sexual violence in 6 Indian states, mobilizing men and boys to say ‘No’ to Gender-Based Violence, and generating greater institutional response and accountability.
For this programme –
- We built curriculum and worked with trainers to catalyse leaders to challenge and transform gender norms and violence against women, in our key constituencies.
- We leveraged short-term digital and physical campaigns to engage the youth in the community in both our actions and demands, at a local as well as a global level
In the last three years, we have encouraged public dialogue and conversation using digital and on-ground mobilization, at the core of which is our objective of creating a socially conscious community of young catalysts – we call them the Breakthrough Generation. These youth groups are leading campaigns, supporting us as volunteers and helping us achieve the change we envisioned.
Our campaigns exist in the space of popular culture and relatability – we speak to our communities in the language they understand, using tools they relate to. Between 2015 and 2016, we launched three pivotal campaigns –
- #AskingForIt encouraged bystander intervention, supporting women and girls who took the brave step of speaking against harassment.
- #ShareYourStory urged mothers to speak to their sons about harassment and open online discussions.
- #StandWithMe illustrated how gender-inclusive safe spaces can be created, especially focusing on the online space and educational institutions.
With an aim to bridge the gap between parents and youth, and create an atmosphere of trust and comfort, we focused on intergenerational conversations, along with creating comprehensive models of engagement to keep the youth involved with the work we do at Breakthrough. Our work with multiple stakeholders helped us achieve strategic partnerships and support from crucial entities like police, protection officers, front line service providers, media professionals, public transport owners etc.