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What We Can Do on the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence

What Can We Do for the
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence
 
The 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign that commences on the 25th of November to December 10th each year. It is a time for strategies by individuals, institutions and organizations to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
 
With the declaration of COVID-19 as a global pandemic, violence against women and girls , particularly domestic violence has escalated. There has been an alarming increase in multiple forms of violence against women and girls, fueled by economic and food insecurity and confined living conditions due to lockdown and isolation. There are reported increases in sexual abuse and harassment both online and offline. Mental health has been influenced by increased risks of problematic coping behaviours including family violence and conflict.
The socio-economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is running the risk of reversing decades of progress in the fight against poverty and increasing the already high levels of inequality in humanity.
 
Although these realities are what we are facing it does not mean we should become complacent and not address the issue. It just means it is more important than ever to use our voices and actions to show that ending violence against women and girls is not on pause!!! Together our individual actions can help encourage victims to speak out, support survivors as they heal and build a society that is respectful of women and girls.
 
For each day of the 16 Days of activism the Women’s Place Resource Centre will post a short paragraph dealing with something we as community can do to show our support in eliminating Violence Against Women and Girls.
 
( these are adapted from the main principles on UNiTE campaign 2020 and the government of Canada website)
 
November 25 – International day for the Elimination of Violence Against women.
 
We will speak out about gender-based violence.
 
Abusive language about women in general, or talk that cruelly demeans a specific woman or women, often occurs in social situations or online. You can object to this behaviour in a non-confrontational way just by saying, or posting, “ It’s just wrong to talk about women that way. Stop it.” You may be surprised how many people agree with you and were just waiting for someone to speak up.
 
November 26 –
 
We will not look the other way.
 
1 in 4 North American women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Canadian Indigenous women between 25 – 44 years of age are 5 times more likely than other Canadian women to die as a result of violence.
 
November 27 -
 
We will teach our children to respect themselves and others.
 
Sexual offences are eight times more likely to be committed against girls aged 12 – 17 than male youth. Young women are at a higher risk of violent victimization, age 15 -24 being the highest ( double that of women 35 – 44).
 
November 28 -
 
We will be respectful of all interactions with women. We will raise our sons to respect women.
 
Women are almost four times more likely to experience intimate partner violence.
8 out of 10 victims of intimate partner violence are women.
Women are three times more likely than men to experience criminal harassment.
 
November 29 -
 
We will recognize today as the International Women’s Human Rights Defenders day.
 
Hundreds of thousands of women throughout the world work tirelessly and with courage to defend women’s human rights and all forms of discrimination and inequality.
 
November 30 -
 
We will teach our children about consent.
 
Data suggests that one-quarter of female students in college or university have experienced sexual assault or attempted sexual assault, 90% of these students knew their attacker.
80% of assailants are friends or family of the victim.
 
December 1 -
 
We will not blame the victim.
 
Women are 11 times more likely then men to be victims of sexual offences.
Only 2-4% of all sexual assaults are reported.
 
December 2 -
 
We will strive to have healthy relationships.
 
It is important to learn to resolve conflict and express anger or frustration in appropriate , non-violent ways and lead by example.
Demeaning stereotypes, degrading comments or jokes and other messages that condone negative attitudes towards women and girls erode respect and perpetuate inequality.
 
December 3 -
 
We will be aware of outside influences
 
Exposure to media violence can have a de-sensitizing effect. Exposure to negative behaviours towards women and girls can become acceptable and normalized.
Encourage individuals to think critically about what they are seeing and hearing.
 
December 4 -
 
We will build safer communities for all.
 
Women with disabilities are at four times greater risk of experiencing sexual assault.
 
December 5 -
 
We will practice what we preach.
 
This is a cliche, but it is true that actions speak louder than words. Always address women with respect and recognize the importance of individual diversity.
 
December 6 -
 
We will remember the 14 women who were killed in the Montreal massacre and acknowledge that this day is Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action of Violence Against Women.
 
We have dried our tears but our anger lives on. We will continue to fight against misogyny and promote gender equality to put a stop to these horrendous and senseless crimes.
 
December 7-
 
We will be allies to those who have experienced violence.
 
We can be supportive to victims by listening ,believing and willing to learn from what survivors have experienced. We will take a respectful and ‘do no harm’ approach to the telling and re-telling of survivor stories, only with their informed consent and under conditions in which they have agreed.
 
December 8 -
 
We will educate ourselves and recognize that some forms of cyberbullying and online sexual exploitation are gender-based violence.
 
Online sexual exploitation, cyberbullying, particularly sexting, is increasing in children and youth as they rely more on technology. In cases of child luring on the internet 90% of the victims are girls. There is emerging evidence that links cyberbullying to an increased risk of suicide and mental health problems, and girls are more at risk of internalized responses ( ie. Depression, anxiety, and social withdrawal).
 
December 9 -
 
We will try to use a trauma informed approach when dealing with issues of violence.
 
This requires constant attention, caring awareness and sensitivity. The 6 guiding principles to trauma informed approach are:
1) safety 2) trustworthiness and transparency 3) peer support 4)collaboration and mutuality 5) empowerment, voice and choice 6) cultural, historical and gender issues.
 
December 10 -
 
We will support today as Human Rights Day and work on fostering critical examination of gender roles,regimes and practices, while seeking to create or strengthen equitable gender norms and dynamics for fundamental, lasting changes for women and girls.
 
Women who decide to break away from traditional gender roles and demand their rights and the rights of their community are often questioned and stigmatized. Attacks against them, often in and through the media, revolve around the very same stereotypes that women human rights defenders strive to challenge through their work. They are often labelled, their sexual orientation is questioned, and they can be ridiculed for their physical appearance or supposed “lack of femininity”.
 
 
 
 

Quote of the Day

“The more I have spoken about feminism the more I have realized that fighting for women's rights has too often become synonymous with man-hating. If there is one thing I know for certain, it is that this has to stop.”

Emma Watson