This report first appeared in the Garden of Hope’s Newsletter, Vol. 5 No. 04. More information about their work can be found online HERE
New Taipei City has the biggest population in Taiwan and greatest numbers of domestic violence cases. Before March 8, New Taipei City branch of the Garden of Hope Foundation conducted a press conference: “Happy New Taipei City, towards an anti-violence city” to advocate an anti-violence action.
Besides Li Li-Zhen, the director of Social Bureau in New Taipei City Government and many New Taipei City councilors including Liu Mei-Fang, Wang Shu-Hui, Zhang Jin-Ting, Zhou Ya-Ling, Zeng Huan-Jia, Zheng Yu-En, Luo Wen-Zhong, Chen Yi-Jun, all provided their supports and signed the logo “New Taipei City steps forward an zero violence city” to advocate for warm and peaceful living space in New Taipei City.
Liu Mei-Fang showed that, besides emergency shelters, renting subsidies for victims of violence in New Taipei City should be included into policies. Zhang Jin-Ting, who highly values the importance of increasing renting subsidies, also stated that we should not only care about the victims, but also the offenders with related services. Ms Zhou also emphasized that the New Taipei City Government should increase renting subsidies so that the victims could receive essential assists.
The amendment of ‘Domestic Violence Prevention Act’, which was passed on Jan 3 this year, officially included the legal protection of “children and adolescents who witness the violence”. The Garden of Hope Foundation found that although these children were not the victims, they had suffered significant psychological trauma symptoms. In these cases, children would have dark thoughts about families. At the press conference, all officials were highly concerned with this topic and agreed to increase services and resources. Zheng Yu-En highlighted that it was critical for the government to work with the schools and improve the medical agencies with the support of adequate human resources. Wang Shu-Hui also mentioned that we should foster education for the concept of anti-violence from the very beginning and thus reduce the possibilities of future violence.
Chen Yi-Jun claimed that, other than the physical injury from domestic violence, the verbal and mental violence are also critical. Besides, Zeng Huan-Jia and Luo Wen-Zhong mentioned the importance of prevention and hoped that we could decrease the domestic violence cases at the fundamental level through advocacy activities to help New Taipei City become a happy city without violence.
Li Yu-Hua, the head of New Taipei City branch of the Garden of Hope Foundation indicated that, OBR action has achieved further progress through the cooperation with Domestic Violence Prevention Center and Law Court of New Taipei City. She was very grateful for the opportunity to communicate with New Taipei City councilors with such an important role in promoting anti-violence city and gained lots of supports from them. The Garden of Hope Foundation has provided services for almost 10 years in New Taipei City and found that the resources were not equally allocated compared to the large areas, huge population and many domestic violence cases. The foundation hopes that there would be more cooperation between the New Taipei City Council, New Taipei City Government, and NGOs to help fundamentally improve the situation of women victims and children who witness the domestic violence.