16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST GENDER BASED VIOLENCE
What is 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence?
The 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign dedicated to eliminating gender-based violence, in particular, the elimination of violence against women. The campaign is used to raise awareness, undertake advocacy and take action to end violence against women.
The campaign runs from the 25th November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to the 10th December (International Day for Human rights). These dates were chosen to symbolically link violence against women with human rights issues.
Orange is the colour designated by the UN Secretary-Generals UNiTE to End Violence Against Women campaign.
As a bright, optimistic colour, orange represents a future free from violence against women and girls.
Why focus on men’s violence against women?
People of all genders can experience sexual assault, intimate partner violence and family violence. Violence against any person is always unacceptable.
However, men and women are at greater risk of different types of violence. Men are more at risk of violence from a stranger in a public place, while women are more at risk of violence in their home, from someone they know.
National research shows that approximately one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a male perpetrator known to them.
Many services and communities focus on preventing men’s violence against women, as the research shows that women experience violence from men at a much higher rate, with greater severity and impact.
Women are also far more likely to experience ongoing violence, require medical assistance, fear for their lives, and to be murdered.
This is why the 16 Days of Activism focuses on men’s violence against women, and seeks to highlight and share evidence-based information about the factors that are known to cause men’s violence against women and the actions that need to be taken to prevent, and ultimately eliminate this violence.
Why do health services need to be involved?
Health Services across Victoria have been implementing the Strengthening Hospital Responses to Family Violence (SHRFV) initiative. This initiative aims to strengthen how hospitals respond to family violence. We know family violence is gendered and women are more likely to experience it.
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign provides a platform to increase awareness of gendered based violence and the SHRFV initiative.
Shouldn’t we be focused on more than just 16 Days?
Yes! The 16 Days of Activism is a campaign to draw attention to gendered based violence but we need sustained action to create change.
While the 16 Days of Activism will end, it is never too late to take action to end violence against women. If you are wondering what you can do, here are some ideas of where to start:
• Speak with your SHRFV Initiative Project Lead or Executive Sponsor about getting involved in the work your health service is doing to prevent family violence.
• Watch this short but clever video on gender-based assumptions we often make in the workplace, and think about how this might apply in your workplace.
• Watch this short clip by Jackson Katz, an expert in preventing men’s violence against women, and then share the clip with a male friend or colleague. Click here to watch.