Peacebuilding en Las Américas 

Countering Intra-Familial Violence: Advanced AVP Workshop with Co-Madres

by Salómon Medina, National Coordinator AVP El Salvador

Review of an Advanced Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) workshop with Co-Madres in San Rafael Cedros, Cuscatlán, El Salvador held on September 13 and 14, 2019

Violence in private areas is often more difficult to identify. Intervention is often avoided because it is seen as shameful. It is one of the most widely hidden forms of violence and the authorities do not offer exact data, which is extremely worrying in our context.

This worry led us to accompany the Co-Madres group in San Rafael Cedros. Collectively, we created the theme of this workshop: Strengthen conscious, responsible family relationships and spiritual values

This made us reflect on the problems that may arise so that the family can be a place where a harmonious and safe environment is created. When this is the case, we can influence those around us, whether they are close or not so close.

Participants of this workshop shared below:

I learned that it is friendlier, more conscientious and interesting to treat my family and those around me better. This counteracts domestic violence, which leads us to have more union, more trust, more friendship and communication between us.

I learned about the four actions of forgiveness… I could remember my past sadnesses and I have been able to resolve some of these issues.

I learned to apologize and forgive myself. I learned a lot about sharing and communicating with other people.

I learned about forgiveness, how to forgive, and what unites me with my brothers because we have been away from each other for a long time because of a problem.

I learned how to understand other people in order to help know how to forgive those who harm. I also learned how to respect family members and other people around us.

I learned a way of how I can show my family that I love them. It helps take away stress and other things.

I learned to respect myself. I want to be in these workshops. I feel good and happy when you come. I want to continue learning.

To become aware and responsible in how to counteract violence from our homes is a great challenge and a need that still remains in force and important that we can promote it with values ​​from our individual and family spiritualities, so that we contribute to the violence cease and eradicate from there.

As a Facilitating Team, we feel very happy and grateful to the participants, to the leadership of Co-Madres and to Friends Peace Teams-Peacebuilding en Las Américas for allowing us to continue accompanying this effort, where this very wise group has come forward resiliently. They are creatively overcoming all obstacles by their own means and now with the AVP tools they can move forward in their lives by identifying their violent behaviors and thus eradicating them.