10 things we can do to help end violence against women



Next week, 25th November marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It also kicks off 16 days of activism to stop violence against women around the globe.

I've previously blogged about the horrifying reality of domestic and sexual violence against women. 

More than half of Australian women will experience sexual or domestic violence in their lifetime.  Globally, "women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria" according to World Bank data. 

That's our friends, families, work colleagues, daughters, children, leaders and communities experiencing this violence and living with the terrible consequences. 

This violence is real, it's not new, and it's not going away unless we do something about it in our everyday lives. 

The issue is close to my heart. I've worked with women survivors of sexual violence in conflict. The courage and strength of the women I met who came forward to tell their stories, in the hope things would change for their daughters and grandchildren, humbled me to the core. 

I've worked with survivors of sexual and domestic violence in Australia and I'm humbled by their courage, and the commitment of so many to stop this violence in its tracks.

There are things we can do. Not just next week to mark 16 days of activism, but today, in our everyday moments.  These are just some I thought of. Perhaps you've got ideas too?

  • If you, or someone you know is or has experienced violence, these support services can help - national and state-wide agencies are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Speak out (if it's safe) against bullying, sexism, harassment, put-downs and intimidation.
  • Support White Ribbon Day, a national campaign to end violence against women. 
  • Speak out if you hear excuses for violence or victim blaming.
  • If you're a parent of a young person aged between 12-20, check out The Line. It's an awesome resource to help parents talk to their kids, and for young people to navigate towards healthy and respectful relationships, and recognise behaviours that 'cross the line'.
  • Promote and model gender equality. Building this into our everyday lives and communities can reduce attitudes that support violence.
  • Showing our children equal, respectful relationships is a great place to start. Talking through problems in a respectful way, sharing jobs around the home equally, and trying not to reinforce gender stereotypes are things we can all do and support. 
  • I live in NSW, and due to changes in government funding, many crisis accommodation refuges for women fleeing violence have been forced to close. You can support the campaign to support women's refuges across NSW, here.
  • Want to read more about the United Nations campaign to end violence against women, including its 16 days of activism work? Go here

What are your ideas and thoughts? I'd love to hear them!

2 comments:

  1. Great post Pia and very relevant for me work wise. We really need to be doing so much more to combat this problem. The situation in NSW with the lack of refuges for women fleeing domestic violence is terrible at the moment. I just finished reading the book Rise" by Ingrid Poulson. She paid the ultimate price (her children and father were killed by her ex partner) in a domestic violence situation but her resilience skills which she fostered after the tragedy are incredible to read about. I would also recommend the Love Bites school program which is great for early intervention and education.

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  2. Hi Ing - yes! Love Bites is awesome in schools. I haven't read Rise, thanks for the recommendation. I think there are lots of things we can do every day, thanks for the thoughtful comments and best wishes for your work x

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