So cry the abused mother and child.
As part of our overall efforts to develop a human rights culture in Namibia, the Legal Assistance Centre has utilised various forms of media, including video and radio productions. Creating a culture of non-violence similarly needs to involve a range of approaches, if we are to reach people's hearts as well as their heads.
These poems, written by local author Petrus Hakskeen, powerfully depict the violence perpetrated against women and children in Namibia. They bring home to us the vulnerability of the victims and the resulting destruction of society. The work is a compelling expression of empathy for those who suffer from violence, and we hope that Petrus's words will inspire empathy in others.
Because the youth of Namibia are one of our major target group for purposes of changing attitudes about violence, we decided to involve secondary school children in creating illustrations for this book. Workshops were held at Daweb Junior Secondary School, Maltahohe; Otjikoto Senior Secondary School, Tsumeb; and Hage G Geingob Secondary School, Windhoek. These workshops combined an intense discussion of domestic violence and possible solutions to the problem with instruction in art techniques, thereby involving the students in an active and creative exploration of the topic. The students were challenged to depict solutions to domestic violence rather than acts of violence, and they rose enthusiastically to this challenge [as evidenced on the following pages.]
The book will be distributed free of charge to all Namibian secondary schools for their libraries, as well as to interested organisations.
We hope that the poetry will point to the need for change, while the artwork will suggest ideas for positive action.
(From the foreword by Dianne Hubbard)