Coffey’s Aitebaar program recently conducted an innovative five-day interactive theatre workshop to raise awareness of the rights of Pakistan’s victims of violence.
Participants, including community activists, policemen and policewomen, wrote and performed a play that portrayed the story of a young woman who was brutally beaten and forced to leave home by her husband.
The story examined the pressures on victims of violence as well as the resources available to them. This included depictions of harassment from corrupt police, family pressures not to contact authorities, as well as of assistance from the police women’s desk and of a passionate prosecutor working to protect victims’ rights.
The play was performed in public venues across Peshawar including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Police Lines, police stations, and hujras (guest rooms). Performances were followed by question and answer sessions with the audience about victims’ rights, with the aim of stimulating a community conversation.
Aitebaar is a UK-funded program focused on strengthening trust between citizens and government by improving the workings of the security and justice sector. It will run until 2016.