The United Nation’s international campaign – 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence – takes place from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until 10 December (International Human Rights Day).
The annual campaign was started by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. The aim is to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
What it means to us
Speaking out against women’s rights abuses is something that women’s rights organisations do every day. From lobbying governments to improve laws and services to working with communities to change discriminatory attitudes and behaviours – organisations and individuals are working all over the world to respond to and prevent violence against women.
Calls for action like this campaign are crucial because they shine a spotlight on the issue of violence against women. They are a moment to create public awareness about what needs to change to prevent it from happening in the first place at local, national, regional and international levels.
Crime Statistics Agency Victoria data shows that in our region the number of family incidents in the year to 30 June 2022 exceeded the state average by 82.1% in Benalla, 52.3% in Wodonga and 50.2% in Wangaratta. This demonstrates that North East Victoria needs a Specialist Family Violence Court and a Victoria Legal Aid office.
How you can get involved
The theme for the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence Campaign this year is Respect Women: Call It Out (Respect Is).
Choosing to lead with respect in our relationships, workplaces, schools, universities, and homes can prevent family violence and violence against women.
The ‘Respect Is’ campaign showcases messages of respect, support and equality. It features stories from everyday Victorians who are creating change in their communities.
There are lots of ways you can get involved:
- Join us for a vigil to remember the women and children who have lost their lives to family violence – 4.30pm Monday 28 November in Woodland Grove (near the Wodonga Water Tower).
- Download the “Respect is” selfie frame and share it on your socials using #respectis #callitout #16days.
- Support your local women’s organisations.
- Check your local council website and social media for 16 Days of Activism community events.
- Take part in the Walk Against Family Violence in Wodonga on 6 December.
- Start a conversation – For tips on how to do this head to Gender Equity & You: a conversation kit.
Violence against women is not inevitable – it is preventable.
Your voice is a critical part of the global movement to end violence against women. Tell your families, schools, communities and workplaces. Together we must call on governments, organisations and people everywhere to speak out against violence.
Where to get help if you need it
If you believe someone is in immediate danger call 000 and ask for the police.
If you or someone you know is experiencing family violence, help is available.
- Safe Steps: A confidential and supportive family violence response line for Victoria. Phone services are available 24/7 – 1800 015 188.
- The Orange Door: Family violence support and safety hubs – 1800 271 157
For further support services head to Safe & Equal – Find a service.