The 3 Workshops

To help overcome domestic abuse, small business owners will invite their patrons to gather in a series of three workshops. The small business owners will lead the workshops and help facilitate meaningful interactions between the attending married couples, helping them find greater respect for each other. 


The Clock

In this activity, a homogenous group of men and women (preferably couples) take turns outlining their daily tasks. First, the men describe their schedule on any given day, and then the women do the same. Special attention is given to how much time is spent on each task: a process which allows participants to become more cognizant of their partners’ contributions.

Have husbands and wives break up into groups. Have workshop leaders teach men to fold one type of origami item. Have women in a different group folding a different origami item. Bring the group back together and talk about these beautiful contributions each partner makes. Then, put the wive’s origami on the floor, have husbands stand, and stomp on it. Do the same for the husband’s. Have the partners then try to repair each other’s origami. See how it still has signs of damage and is not as beautiful. Ask the couple to return home and put the two origami items in a place where they can be easily seen during the day, as a reminder to value each other’s contributions.


The Meal

In this workshop, a small group (typically couples or families) presents a dramatization of a conventional meal scenario. The food is distributed according to prevailing hierarchical norms, wherein a predominant share is dispensed to the eldest males, and only meager portions are left for the younger members. Subsequently, a distinct set of volunteers performs a parallel enactment of a meal, characterized by familial discourse and collective dining at a shared table, thus ensuring equitable distribution of food for everyone.

Talk about the importance of having family meals together, and talking and enjoying each other’s company together. Teach them to take turns with each family member sharing a flower (something that went well that day), a thorn (something that didn’t go well) and a bud (something they’re looking forward to).


Person vs Thing

For this exercise, a reciprocal role exchange occurs between a marital pair wherein the wife assumes a directive position, assigning tasks traditionally associated with her responsibilities to her husband. In turn, he is tasked with empathetically contemplating the workload borne by his spouse and experiencing the sensation of being subject to her demands.

After Person vs Thing, show the video of Janne Ritske’s story (page 16) that illustrates how wonderful Cambodian’s are at empathizing with those who have been hurt. {video needs to be produced}. Then, get each partner to share (whispering to the other) a time they were emotionally hurt by the other. Have husband go first. Whisper. Wait for a few minutes with no additional back and forth. Then, wives do the same. This way no arguing happens, and spouses can see that they do things to hurt the other sometimes.

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