This is an issue that has always stabbed at my heart, particularly in the area of sexual violence, which, long term reader will remember, initially spurred my production of 'Fragile World'. We cannot escape the horrors of atrocities committed against, for example, the women of the Congo, appalling stories of mass rape, horrors that we cannot imagine, and frankly, do not want to. And yet, they exist. Can we really be silent in such a world as this?
And gender violence is not just a problem in unstable countries under specific threat of war or terrorism. Domestic violence is everywhere. According to Rest0red, two women a week in the UK die due to domestic violence incidents. Globally, one in three women will suffer violence at the hands of a male partner. In the UK, it's one in four.
The website for '16 days' can be found here, providing links and resources to help raise awareness of this issue. This is what they say about the campaign:
The 16 Days Campaign has been used as an organizing strategy by individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women by:
- raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at the local, national, regional and international levels
- strengthening local work around violence against women
- establishing a clear link between local and international work to end violence against women
- providing a forum in which organizers can develop and share new and effective strategies
- demonstrating the solidarity of women around the world organizing against violence against women
- creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women
Let's use our voices; let's not be silent. Spread the word and get active. Change the world.