【GOH Activity】Gender Violence Workshop in East Asian Democracy Forum 2017/07/06
▲Group photo at East Asian Democracy Forum

The Garden of Hope Foundation (GOH) held East Asian Democracy Forum: Workshop on Ending Sexual/ Gender-Based Violence on 24th to 25th May. GOH found that Asian countries are now paying more attention to the education of men, and it is imperative to let men understand that they can also be the victims of gender inequality and make a change together. All participants swore that in the future they will strengthen regional network collaboration and share each other's intelligence, information, plans and actions for support.

The seminar was first narrated by CEO of GOH, Hui-Jung Chi, and Shui-Yuan Chang, Director General, Ministry of Health and Welfare. They introduced Taiwan's sexual violence and violence prevention services. Ms. Chi said that the experience of victims of sexual abuse was generally neglected, and the shortcomings of sexual violent prevention in Asia are inadequate lawsuits, lengthy litigation, lacks of gender awareness among the judicial system staff. Sexual assault victims do not have litigation status and marking rights. Fortunately the National Affairs Conference of Judicial Reform at Office of the President R.O.C changed the law to allow the victims have the right to participate in litigation.

Ms. Chang said that the myth of the sexual violence has changed from the earlier time “to defend yourself until death” to the second stage that “No means no”, to the current stage “Only yes means yes”. We can see the change of the times. From the sexual assault annual data, the ratio of number of reports and the number of police administrative case received is three to one. It means two-thirds of cases did not enter the judicial system, we can see the victims were not ready. The core of sexual violence prevention work is the respect for individual sexual autonomy, and Ministry of Health and Welfare will try to start from next year to form statistics of the popularity of sexual violations. As for the recent suicidal case of the female writer, Ms. Chang said that the parents of the victim did not have the correct concept of sexual violence prevention and control work.

GOH Deputy Director Yueh-Hao Wang commented on the suicide of the female writer that the public still thinks sexual violence only happens with a single time with a stranger. In fact, 70% of the sexual assault occurred with a familiar person, and incident is often repeated. We should focus on the prevention of potential perpetrators; and sex education and gender education should focus on individual rights rather than chastity. The Vice President of the Taiwan Foundation for Democracy Ketty W. Chen said that we should provide more knowledge and education to prevent sexual violence, so that women can become strong and powerful and have the courage to say no to perpetrators.

The most special of the seminar was a Japanese advocator, Yuki, an Assist Coordinator of All Japan Women's Shelters Network, who served the people of SOGI (Diverse Sexual Orientations and Gender Identities). In Japan, one in every 4 women experienced domestic violence, a woman is killed by her husband every three days, and the traditional data does not cater for LGBT (sex minority, Japan called SOGI) investigation. The government set a shelter in Kōchi Prefecture to assist SOGI from August 2014 to March 2015, and had 5 cases in these 8 months. Most of them had traumatic syndrome, and shelter was closed due to the lack of manpower and resources.

In addition, there are two parts of the seminar about the management of the perpetrators and child sexual exploitation that are less discussed. Specialist, Department of Mental and Oral Health, Ministry of Health and Welfare, Taiwan, Lee Ping-Chang said that there are less than 10% of the perpetrators of sexual violence have mental problems. Therefore, the mandatory treatment for them is not effective and we should focus on monitoring.

The seminar also held video: Barefoot Alice Playback Theater, which was set up by GOH in 2008 with a group of women who had been sexually violated. Through a "one person, one story" theater, members are able to heal in narrating, listen to others’ stories, and the performance of other's life story. This year Barefoot Alice Playback Theater will participate in Taiwanese “Vagina Monologues” : " Shi-Di Episode II " in June.

1F., No.2-1, Shunan St., Xindian Dist., New Taipei City 23143, Taiwan
Copyright © The Garden of Hope Foundation, All Rights Reserved. TSG Design