Every year, around the 25th of November, the Association for Liberty and Equality of Gender – A.L.E.G. marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This year, A.L.E.G. organizes the campaign #ȘiEuReușesc (I Can Do It Too), aimed at encouraging women experiencing partner violence to break the silence and trust that they can live a life free of the violence.
The campaign started with the call “Tell Us How You Did It”, launched on the Facebook page alegromania. This is an invitation for women who have gotten out of an abusive situation to share their story, without revealing personal identification data. On November 24th, inspirational pieces of these stories will be posted on the Horizontal Newspaper next to the Radu Stanca National Theatre of Sibiu, thanks to the artist Dan Perjovschi, one of the main supporters of the A.L.E.G. campaign.
On the same Friday, at 4 p.m., at the fountain of Nicolae Bălcescu Street, the A.L.E.G. volunteers will issue a wake-up call to the community of Sibiu through the Vigil Night for Silent Witnesses. The silent witnesses are red figures symbolically representing women who have lost their lives because of domestic violence. Each figure bears the story of a real case, most of which had a long history of violence. Constantly blamed they might ruin their family, victims put up with everything, while everyone around them often chooses not to get involved, although many times they know what’s going on. After reading these stories, we would like the public to go home with a new-found motivation to take action, because many lives can be saved if offered help in due time.
As support services are important, on November 27th, A.L.E.G. will launch a support group for women facing abusive relations. A support group is a form of counselling led by a psychologist, which helps people overcome trauma by showing them they are not alone. Participation is free; to register, call 0753 893 531 or e-mail us at email@example.com. For further details, access www.aleg-romania.eu
In 2-10 December, the campaign continues with the exhibition VIO and the Stories of Single Free Mothers, by artist Cynthia Loris and A.L.E.G. The exhibition will take place at the top floor of the Council Tower. It is the first time that real violence experiences of several women are turned into pieces of art, with the purpose of talking about freedom. The piece suggestively called ‘How Many KM2 of Bruises Has the Ruler at the M.E.’s Office Measured?” was inspired by the dimensions of bruises, as documented in a forensic certificate. According to the Sibiu Forensic Medicine Office in Sibiu, this year, 117 women victims of domestic violence have requested a forensic certificate.
The campaign #ȘiEuReușesc is part of the project “From Victim to Survivor”, financed by Global Rights for Women and Vital Voices with the help of Global Funds for Women. The campaign is partnering with Ashoka Romania through the program Ashoka Localizer and is supported by the famous Romanian artist Dan Perjovschi.
A.L.E.G. offers free counselling and legal assistance to victims of gender-based violence.