Help End Violence Against Women

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Tomorrow is International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women and the launch of 16 days of activism that will conclude on December 10th, International Human Rights Day.

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations in our world today remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it.

I am all about campaigning, sharing posts and hashtags on social media, but how can we intentionally make a difference in our day to day lives? Office Of Women’s Health has some great suggestions:

  • Call the police if you see or hear evidence of domestic violence.

  • Learn about bystander intervention. You can help prevent sexual assault from happening.

  • Support a friend or family member who may be in an abusive relationship.

  • Volunteer at a local domestic violence shelter or other organization that helps survivors or works to prevent violence.

  • Teach your children early on that they are the ones who decide who gets to touch them and where.Consider teaching them the proper names for the parts of their body at a young age so that they can clearly communicate about their bodies. Teach children that it’s their choice whether they want to hug or kiss others, even family.

  • Raise children to respect others. Teach children to treat others as they would like to be treated. Talk to your children about healthy relationships and the importance of treating their dating partners and others with respect. Teach them that consent from a dating partner is a clear “yes” for sexual activity.

**Personal Disclaimer: We raise children to be adult humans. I believe raising them to understand what respect looks like sexually as a husband and wife is important…. “consent from your spouse is a clear yes for sexual activity.” As far as children go, I think abstinence education is key, no matter your beliefs, for the physical, emotional, mental, and social health alone. Not with shame and fear but through respect and love.

  • Lead by example. Work to create a culture that rejects violence as a way to deal with problems. Speak up against messages that say that violence against or mistreatment of women is OK. Don’t be violent or abusive to yourself.

  • Become an activist. Participate in an anti-violence event like a local Take Back the Night march. Support domestic violence services and violence prevention programs by donating your time.

  • Volunteer in youth programs. Become a mentor. Get involved in programs that teach young people to solve problems without violence. Get involved with programs that teach teens about healthy relationships and healthy masculinity and femininity.

  • Ask about anti-violence policies and programs at work and school. At work, ask about policies that deal with sexual harassment, for example. On campus, ask about services to escort students to dorms safely at night, emergency call boxes on campus, campus security, and other safety measures. Ask about any bystander intervention training programs that may be happening on campus or at work.

Also, consider donating or doing something kind for the people/organizations who are on the front lines to show your appreciation and give them a boost. These are just a few ways you can help. Tomorrow, I will be sharing more ways to help, specifically on human trafficking.

If you do want to take a stand in International Day For The Elimination Of Violence Against Women and the 16 days of activism, the UN encourages participants all over the world to join in on social media using the hashtags #OrangeUrWorld, #OrangeTheWorld, #HearMeToo, #EndVAW and to wear a touch of orange in solidarity with the cause - the colour symbolizes a brighter future and a world free from violence against women and girls.

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