Standing by the ones in need | Daily News


Standing by the ones in need

Stand By a lobby group launched on June 30 2018 at the Good Market at Racecourse creates awareness within the society on harassment, bullying, exploitation, molestation and violence.

The entity does this in line with government policies. Stand By Me’s motto is, standby me; together we can!

The entity’s core object is to build a country free from any form of abuses which includes Domestic Violence, Sexual Harassment, Rape, Incest, Grave Sexual Abuse, Trafficking and ICT (Digital) Violence.

The nonprofit organization does this through education, mass communication and by physically supporting those who suffer from violence and more importantly those inclined to be violent.

With an integrated approach, the team carries their message across borders of religious beliefs, political agenda, and social backgrounds by presenting it as a public health issue, rather than as a moral, political or religious argument.

Hash Tag launch

Stand By unveiled its hashtag on April 6 this year along with an awareness campaign to spread awareness of their cause.

Hashtag launch at the Good Market saw the visit of legendary cricketer, Kumar Sangakkara and his family.

The unveiling event was also graced by ‘Stop Child Cruelty’ chairperson Tush Wickremanayake, Paramie Jayakody of ‘Chokolaate magazine’ and a host of other prominent guests.

Many passersby also stopped to speak of their personal experiences on the topic of harassment.

As means of entertainment for the Good Market vendors and visitors, Stand By arranged a performance of slam poetry written and choreographed by students of the Overseas School of Colombo.

These girls being members of a school community service group known as ‘Girls for Girls’ work hand in hand with Emerge Lanka Foundation and survivors of sexual harassment and abuse.

Projects of Stand By

The lobby group has been involved in a number of projects from its inception.

After their successful launch last year, Stand By partnered the World University Service of Canada in three important events. A panel discussion on the topic ‘Creating cities that are safe for women’ was part of the Women Friendly Cities Challenge. They were also involved in a promotional event highlighting Mannar as a tourist destination. Stand By Me represented at the WUSC event about environmental awareness.

Another noteworthy project they got involved was human rights issue of bailing out a prisoner, a lady who needed mental health evaluation.

In September, Stand By Me hosted an informative panel discussion with four key speakers, Professor Arjuna Seneviratne, Hans Billimoria, Nirosha Kulasekera and Rohaina Tanveer.

The lobby group also made presentations at several events including one held at Sri Lanka Housewives Association and at the recent event Behind The Mask 2019, held to spread awareness on mental health issues.

Stand By Me has a number of upcoming ventures. Taking awareness campaigns to schools and to conduct focus discussion programs for parents is one of paramount importance that is on the cards.

Team member Tassy Dahlan said, “Stand By intend spreading awareness mainly in Primary schools to educate the youth and in offices and transport sector, where harassment issues are paramount and need to be addressed”. 

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