Addressing violence against women is a big deal.
Think back to…
15. What were you doing at 15 years old?
Were you discovering your new favourite band? Maybe planning your next Friday night? Finding your drive, your passion, your next wild dream to pursue?
Or were you afraid? Did you live in fear and pain? Did you question your choices, your instincts, your entire life and being?
For a shocking amount of women this kind of terror was, and sometimes still remains, a significant part of their lives. Why? The answer is simple, yet unsettling—violence and exploitation.
In Australia, 1 in 5 women have experienced sexual violence. 1 in 3 women have experienced physical violence. And 1 in 4 women have experienced emotional violence.
…Most since the age of 15.
But what exactly is violence? Why should I care?
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), violence can be described as “the intentional use of physical force or power that results in injury, death, or psychological harm.”
Though this is a harmful behaviour that can be experienced by anyone, women are disproportionately subjected to violent crimes and often face severe injustices, including but not limited to:
- Domestic violence
- Sexual harassment
- Human trafficking
- Modern slavery
As a result, women who experience these unjust and inhumane crimes can, unfortunately, suffer short and long-term consequences. This can damage their mental, physical and emotional health. Ultimately, their general well-being. These consequences can be so extreme that some women lose their ability to participate fully in society.
Not only do these atrocious acts affect women, but they consequently affect extending communities and countries. These violent crimes negatively contribute to societal behaviours, economic GDP, and the state of future generations.
While there is increasing public coverage on these issues and solidified laws against such crimes, the problem of violence and exploitation is far from being solved and continues to be a social epidemic that is a large challenge to eradicate.
However, there is hope, and it begins with us.
“Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
- UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women, Article 1
What, then, is next?
The United Nations (UN) has declared today, November 25th, to be International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. To expand this movement, the UN has established a campaign titled 16 Days of Activism that calls for real action toward violence prevention and expulsion.
The Freedom Hub, as a passionate supporter of this cause, has taken inspiration from the UN’s campaign and started 16 Days of Freedom, a series of blog posts that aim to inspire, inform, and further ignite messages of freedom from modern slavery.
How can I take part in the 16 Days of Freedom?
We encourage you to follow the series for the next two weeks—we will be sharing more important statistics concerning violence against women and modern slavery; further information on specific causes, effects, and resolutions; and real stories of women that have overcome the difficult journeys they were dealt.
Remember—hope and change starts with you. Simply reading and sharing this article is an important step toward betterment of the issue at hand! In tomorrow’s article, The Importance of Knowledge and How It Helps Our Future, we will discuss exactly why this is.
Until then, here are some other points of action you can look to:
- Perform your own research on these critical topics.
- Share this and other resources on social media.
- Join campaigns and organisations that dedicate themselves to humanitarian causes.
- Support local businesses that support important causes.
Written by: Charlene Moraleda
Want to Make a Difference NOW?
High Tea for Humanity – Celebrate freedom on Human Rights Day (10th December) by coming to our High Tea or you could run your own high tea and fundraise for victims of violence in slavery in our Survivor School.
End of Year Giving – purchase from our shop and know that 100% of the profits from your purchase supports victims of violence in slavery in our survivor school.
The Freedom Fair – if you live in Sydney, come to our venue on 27th November and meet ethical vendors who are fighting modern-day slavery in their supply chains. Find out more here.
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