Ms. Nhoem Dany is a permanent member of the Commune Committee for Women and Children (CCWC) in Talav Commune and a member of the GBV response working group (GBV WG) at Andoung Meas District in Ratanak Kiri Province. She is passionate about her work, especially providing services to GBV survivors. She claimed: “I am always ready to provide my services to GBV survivors, and eager to fight for justice for them.” Dany wants to eliminate traditional reconciliations for domestic violence cases because it cannot stop perpetrators from continuing to commit violence. She wants her community to live in harmony and without domestic violence.

Previously, Dany sought to help GBV survivors by mobilising financial support and coordinating with other service providers including Health Centre and commune police for GBV survivors at the commune level. She had very limited knowledge on other supporting services such as legal services, health services, social services, and referral services from commune level to provincial level for supporting GBV survivors. Throughout her time working with GBV survivors she received a few severe cases, such as those involving rape and physical violence. Sometimes these cases were reconciled traditionally at the commune level and did not use any laws to protect survivors.

Once she has become a member of the GBV WG, she was able to increase her knowledge of GBV and the skills needed to work with survivors such as minimum standards of basic counselling, referral guidelines, and attitudes of service providers. Gaining these skills helped her provide better support to survivors and resulted in her becoming more aware of her roles and responsibilities. She is more active in her response to GBV survivors and is more confident in applying her skills in critical areas including basic counselling to build rapport and understand individual needs of GBV survivors.

Dany is working as GBV WG member and with the strong engagement with CARE that is implementing a project supporting to establish and strengthen GBV Working Group in the provincial level and district level in Ratanak Kiri. It enables an impact at the commune level including at CCWC, as well as on the commune police and health centre staff as they now have greater coordination regarding GBV case referral between agencies at the sub-national level. For difficult cases that are beyond commune support, Dany raises them in the Telegram Group of Andoung Meas GBV WG to solicit immediate support from the district level.

Dany recognized that “the GBV Working Group is playing an important role to provide a quick response for GBV cases. All working group members as well as service providers are more accountable to their duties and more knowledgeable on case referrals.”  She added that “After the COVID-19 pandemic is over, my GBV WG will be more functional and effective to reduce domestic violence and child marriages.”

Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program is working in partnership with the Royal Government of Cambodia and Implementing Partners to sustainably improve services for persons with disabilities and women affected by GBV. CARE is one of ACCESS’ 14 Implementing Partners.