16 Days of Activism – Challenging Violence Against Women and Girls
2020 has seen so many changes in the way we work, live and socialise. There are many who have been able to maintain some levels of normality and taken the opportunity of lockdown to spend more time with their partners, children and those closest to them. However, whilst this has been an opportunity that some have been able to make the most of, the impact of lockdown on victims of domestic abuse has been significant.
During the lockdown periods, staying at home and social distancing has created much higher risk situations for some families. Where going to work and social contact provided a break or an opportunity to get support, this disappeared and the time spent with an abuser in a confined space increased.
Research by Counting Dead Women (founder Karen Ingala Smith) calculated at least 16 domestic abuse killings of women and children had taken place in the first three weeks of lockdown. This is double the average rate and the largest number of killings in a three-week period for a decade. We also know from the commissioned NHS service, Kooth, more than half of young people aged 10 to 25 reported increased levels of abuse during lockdown between the time period 3rd March to 14th April this year. Compared with the responses from the same time period in 2019 it shows a 51% increase in young people experiencing abuse at home.
One in three women worldwide experience physical or sexual violence mostly by an intimate partner. (UN Women). According to the Office of National Statistics, in the year ending March 2019, an estimated 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse in the last year (1.6 million women and 786,000 men) across Wales and England.
Violence against women cuts across social class, country and ethnicity and is present across all societies.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women (25 November 2020) which kicks off the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, seeks to raise awareness of the prevalence of domestic violence. Domestic abuse is both a consequence of and a cause of inequality between men and women.
What is violence against women?
The UN definition describes violence against women as:
‘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’.
16 Days of Activism
During the 16 days of activism we shall be sharing statistics, case studies, day in life blogs from our frontline and operational staff and information about our services to further raise awareness of an issue that is a violation of human rights.
Please visit our website to find out more about the work we do to support all victims of domestic abuse.
If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can contact the Live Fear Free Helpline on: 0808 80 10 800 or contact one of our specialist team on the numbers below.
#youarenotalone #livefearfree #dontbeabystander #VAWG
If you would like to support us in continuing to deliver the much needed services to victims of domestic abuse, you can donate here .