A new documentary explores how Concern Worldwide is helping Syrian refugees to prevent domestic violence and to reengage with their families and communities.
The Syrian refugee crisis no longer makes headlines. But it is still the largest humanitarian crises since World War II. Lebanon, equivalent in size to counties Limerick and Cork (12 times smaller than New York) but with a population equal to the whole island of Ireland, has taken in 1.5 million refugees. Per capita, the highest in the world.
This documentary takes an alternative approach to the story of domestic violence telling it through the words and experience of four Syrian men. Their stories begin when they were in Syria where civilian families go peacefully about their daily lives in their community and workplaces and then suddenly find themselves in the crossfire.
The impact of the violence they faced on a daily basis, the grief they carry with them is etched on their souls for generations. The men in particular feel shame for not being able to protect their families and communities, for not being able to fulfil the typical role of the man in society.
Positive stories emanating from the Syrian crisis are in short supply as are those showing the human effect of violent conflict. Breaking the Cycle of Violence tells a constructive story of people, affected by the Syrian crisis, attempting to rebuild their lives. These Syrian men are volunteering to solve their problems with the support of their family and others around them.
They do so by taking part in a training programme with Concern staff; Bassam, Rami and Lama that helps them re-engage with their families and rebuild their lives in a non-violent way. They are assisted by Concern Worldwide with funding from Irish Aid and the local Lebanese community on the Engaging Men Programme. This training programme helps men reflect on their behaviour, reengage with their families and contribute constructively to their communities.
Throughout his documentary Kearney spends time with the men, their families and Concern staff. Breaking the Cycle of Violence therefore shows a human story behind a sensitive and emotive story. It’s ultimately a positive story that shows behaviour can be changed and the cycle of violence can be broken.
BROADCAST DETAILS: Breaking the Cycle of Violence will be broadcast on Newstalk on Sunday June 16th: 7am, with a repeat broadcast on Saturday June 22nd: 9pm
Following broadcast, the podcast will be available at: http://www.newstalk.com/documentaryonnewstalk
CREDITS: Breaking the Cycle of Violence was produced and presented by Peadar Kearney. This programme was funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland with the Television Licence Fee.
NB: The programme contains strong language and scenes which some listeners might find disturbing. Listener discretion advised. If you’ve been affected by any issues raised by this programme, freephone the samaritans on: 116123