This month, on 25th November, The UN’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender based Violence begins because nearly 1 in 3 women have been abused in their lifetime and in times of crisis this increases.
Abuse is any act, incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour. Whether physical, emotional, financial or sexual. Regardless of who is committing it. Men use violence far more than women to fulfil a need for power and control.
“When men stop using power and control over women and girls, women and girls will live without fear of violence and abuse”
Violence against women and girls needs to be prevented. It can be prevented by rejecting social norms and creating a more equal society:
- Education and awareness raising around stereotypical ideas and behaviours
- Demand an equal sharing of household tasks
- Respect everyone equally
- Question and draw attention to incidences of Cat Calling and street harassment
- Demand perpetrators be held accountable for their harmful behaviour
- Demand psychotherapy, rehabilitation and education for offenders of violence and abuse
- Champion a supportive and caring attitude
- Listen to the experiences of women and girls
- Seek counselling and Psychotherapy services for issues of power and control
- Demand that political leaders and parties support equality
- Recognise and support anyone in a parenting role
In addition women can empower themselves to recognise when they or someone they know are being abused.
Women support Women
Unchallenged patriarchal societies perpetuate the kinds of attitudes that lead to male violence against women because they thrive on a need for power and control. Currently there is very little funding for the prevention of VAW. Interventions designed to challenge negative role modelling would give children the best outcomes for a secure and content adulthood where they are able to contribute to society in meaningful ways.
Karen Ingala Smith has the numbers on how many women have been murdered by men to date. Counting Dead Women | Karen Ingala Smith.