Breaking the Silence (BTS) is a groundbreaking program to address gender-based violence (GBV) in the Somali community.
To break the silence, the Somali Family Safety Task Force (Task Force), trained 17 Somali community leaders (women and men) on GBV and its impacts on families during Winter 2017-2018. Because talking about GBV is a taboo subject, having individuals participate in this training helped “break the ice” for these discussions and shift community norms around addressing and responding to GBV. Multiple individuals have indicated that they are already using, or are planning on using, the information gained from the program with their community. One participant stated, “I talked to my friends and lots wanted to do the next one…they wanted to know the next step, can we do the class again. Can we do this more, why didn’t we inform others?” Another discussed using The Muslim Wheel of Domestic Violence with her family “to educate [her] community to better understand what DV looks like.”
After completing the training, 93% of BTS participants said they were either “knowledgeable” or “extremely knowledgeable” about GBV.