The full impact of conflict upon our communities, our health, our relationships, our livelihoods and our wellbeing is not well known. However, as many of you will know from experience (and with research just starting to confirm the same) conflict and violence are self-perpetuating.
Understanding the Roots of Violence
*Those who experience violence as children are much more likely to be violent themselves later in life.
*Increased sexual violence is a feature of military conflict.
*Evidence suggests that violence inside the home increases alongside violence outside the home.
Conflict and HIV
The impact of military conflict upon HIV is complex and under-researched. However...
*Experiences of intimate partner violence have been proven to make women more vulnerable to acquiring HIV. What's more, an HIV diagnosis can often make women (further) vulnerable to GBV.
*There is often an increased pressure on women to engage in transactional sex due to the shortages of food that often accompany conflict, making them more vulnerable to HIV.
*Sexual violence employed as a weapon of war contributes to the spread of HIV among women.
How do we escape the cycles of violence towards peace, hope, safety and prosperity?
Stepping Stones can help communities to understand what things they can do to prevent conflict. It enables people to realise alternative ways to live and thrive. The following quote from a young man from Lorengedwat Sub-County in Nakapiripirit District, Karamoja, Uganda illustrates how we can learn to avoid the types of behaviour that often lead us to conflict and violence:
â€œThe most important aspect I learned [during Stepping Stones training] is that conflict begins with oneâ€™s self. I learnt that the way I think and what I tell others might spark off conflict, so I learned to behave and guide myself and also accept advice.â€