International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

According to a report by the United Nations, nineteen percent of women between the ages of 15 and 49 years of age have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner.

In December 1999, the United Nations General Assembly designated November 25th as the International Day of Violence against Women - 39 years after the Mirabal sisters were assassinated in the Dominican Republic. The UN Women Chief, Sima Bahous, describes gender-based violence as a "global crisis" with gender prejudice fueling acts of violence in both rich and poor countries, with an estimated 35% of women worldwide being physically or sexually assaulted by a non partner and 70% of women having experienced violence from an intimate partner. Women and girls also make up 71% of all human trafficking victims.

Ms Bahous has explained that this type of violence "often goes unreported, silenced by stigma, shame, fear of the perpetrators and fear of a justice system that does not work for women". So, how can we help towards ending violence against women and girls? We've put together a list of the most effective ways:

Tackle violence against girls in school

It's estimated that 246 million children are abused on their way to, and at school every year with girls being particularly vulnerable. Creating healthy relationships with children is critical! Women's Aid have created free training to become an Expert Respect Advocate, teaching people how to speak to young people about healthy relationships and challenging sexism.

Challenge and speak about violence in home

Empowering girls to identify and speak up against domestic abuse is vital to ending domestic violence. Plan International is helping young women learn about their rights and educating them to comfortably discuss the importance of equality with men.

Engage boys and young men to become agents of change

Boys everywhere are standing up for gender equality and breaking the narrative and attitudes that cause violence against girls and women. It's up to us the guide the next generation and forget what we know about gender based roles.

Other things you can do include:

  • Believe survivors
  • Speak out against all forms of violence
  • Respect and embrace diversity
  • Respect everyone's right to say no
  • Strive for equality for everyone
  • Speak out against racist, sexist, and homophobic jokes
  • Work towards eliminating oppression of all kinds
  • Forget what you know and have been taught about gender roles
  • Learn about healthy boundaries
  • Celebrate all aspects of masculinity including compassion and sensitivity

And for men:

  • Choose your words carefully and respectfully
  • Refuse to let TV, movies, music, or other people define what it means to be a man for you
  • Treat all women and girls with respect
  • Get involved with the Men Can Stop Rape movement at

1 in 3 girls have experienced violence in their lifetime and an estimated 1 in 10 have been victims of sexual violence. It's time to take a stand against regressive force! We must take a stand now or risk further loss of rights. Loss of rights often equates to loss of life.

To learn more about the U.K. Police response to violence against women and girls, click here

You can click here for more information on violence against women and girls from the World Health Organisation and what they're doing to tackle the epidemic

For information on how to get help for domestic violence or identify when someone may need help, visit the NHS website here

And for information and support fro Women's Aid, click here

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