'Break the Silence' in Commemoration of International Women's Day in Vietnam
Hanoi (Viet Nam), 11 March 2010 - UNODC Viet Nam commemorated the International Women's Day by co-organizing a UN-Brown Bag Lunch on the UNODC-supported television series on domestic violence, entitled "Breaking the Silence". With support of the UN Gender Programme Coordination Group, this event celebrated the promotion of gender equality and the prevention of violence against women in Viet Nam.
"Breaking the Silence" was broadcast on VTV during autumn last year. This ten-episode television series against domestic violence provoked much discussion and debate, and its development and success could not have been realized without the support of the Swiss Development and Cooperation Agency, the US Embassy, CSAGA and the Diep Van Film Company. "Breaking the Silence" will further be used as an educational and awareness raising tool during UNODC provincial trainings for law enforcement and justice sectors on domestic violence prevention and response later this year.
The aim of the series is to respond to the urgent need to raise awareness about the nature and scope of domestic violence in Viet Nam, and it focuses in particular on the role of the police and justice sectors in preventing and responding to domestic violence cases. Domestic violence is often considered to be a private issue in Vietnamese society, and despite the adoption of a new Law on Domestic Violence Prevention and Control two years ago it continues to be rarely reported to authorities.
About forty participants from the UN, international and national organizations, the Vietnamese Government and donors attended the lunch. There, they viewed extracts of "Breaking the Silence" and discussed the television series and domestic violence issues in Viet Nam. A highlight was the passionate contribution of the series' well known producer, Mr. Hoang Nhuan Cam, and by other members of the production. They shared their personal experiences with domestic violence and showed their support for the cause of gender equality and the prevention of violence against women.
Ms. Nguyen Van Anh, Director of the Center for Studies and Applied Sciences in Gender-Family- Women and Adolescents (CSAGA), the organization which coordinated the production of the series, furthered the discussion with her description of a domestic violence case that is currently being reviewed by the authorities.
Whilst acknowledging that there is still much to do in order to achieve full and efficient domestic violence victim protection, the event and inputs of participants described a Viet Nam that is slowly accepting domestic violence as a crime, and a Government that is beginning to undertake serious efforts to prevent it. UNODC Viet Nam is supporting this process by
strengthening the capacity of law enforcement and justice sectors to prevent and respond to domestic violence in Viet Nam, in collaboration with the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice, and ultimately assist in the creation of a more accountable law enforcement and criminal justice response.