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Inspirational Violence Prevention Work in Pakistan

[ 0 ] December 1, 2013 |
U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program Delegation from Pakistan

U.S. State Department International Visitor Leadership Program Delegation from Pakistan

I recently had the pleasure of spending a morning with a delegation of eight men and women from various parts of Pakistan all involved in government or NGO sexual violence prevention, victim support or perpetrator intervention programs in their communities. They and their organizations support survivors of acid attacks, incest and forced marriages; they provide safe spaces, empowerment programs, and court advocacy. While here in the West most of what we hear about Pakistan concerns terrorism and drone strikes, these people and many more work on the ground every day to end the worldwide epidemic of gender based violence.

In the US for a three week State Department sponsored tour of standout sexual violence programs around the country, they were in New Hampshire under the auspices of the World Affairs Council of NH. By the time I got to talk with the group they’d already been to Washington DC, Dallas, and Salt Lake City, and met in NH with Murry Straus of the Family Research Laboratory at the University of NH, and the good folks at the NH Coalition Against Domestic & Sexual Violence.

Delegation from the Republic of Georgia

Delegation from the Republic of Georgia

This was the third time the WACNH has asked me to present to their tour groups about the campus based sexual violence prevention in general and work we do at Keene State College in particular. Each delegation, from Israel, the Republic of Georgia, and now Pakistan, have been dedicated and inspiriting professionals, engaged in understanding and, often appropriately critiquing, the work we do here in the States, and improving the efforts in their home communities.

I am glad to know my tax dollars are supporting the work of these many programs and individuals, and find all this good work going one world wide an inspiration to raise the bar on the work we do at Keene State. As JFK often said, “a rising tide raises all boats.”

Tags:

Category: Civility, Gender, Peace, Violence Prevention

About Forrest Seymour: See my LinkedIn Profile Forrest Seymour is a social worker, psychotherapist and violence prevention consultant.  He has worked in community based programs, hospitals, schools and colleges supporting individual and institutional efforts to prevent sexual violence and promote emotional and community health since the mid-‘70s.  He has consulted with State Department International Visitor Groups and serves on the Cheshire County (NH) Domestic Violence Council, the New Hampshire Violence Against Women Campus Consortium and the steering committee of the Association for University and College Counseling Center Outreach.  Since 2006, Forrest has been at the Keene State College Counseling Center where he is a Counselor and the Coordinator of Sexual Violence Prevention & Education.  He counts amongst his inspirations the many men he has collaborated with locally, nationally and internationally who seek in so many creative ways to end men’s violence, but most especially, the male and female students at Keene State College who step up as Mentors in Violence Prevention peer educators, Walk a Mile in Her Shoes march organizers, Shout Out Against Sexual Assault speakers and witnesses, Take Back the Night marchers, “Vagina Monologues” and “No Zebras, No Excuses” performers,  and as violence prevention activists in countless large and small ways every year and every day.  These students are victims, survivors, allies and active-bystanders; they are leaders, role models and inspirations for their peers, for their faculty and staff, and for Forrest. View author profile.