Our first blog post comes from our CEO, Jan Frances.
I’ve been thinking a lot about the 16 Days of Action Against Gender Violence this year. Maybe because it’s West Mercia Women’s Aid’s 30thanniversary year and I realise that I’ve been working against violence against women and girls for a very long time indeed.
And it saddens me that after all this campaigning, lobbying and legislation, violence against women and girls continues to be one of the most widespread violations of human rights. In some countries, up to 7 in 10 women will be beaten, raped, abused or mutilated in their lifetimes. 7 in 10!
In the UK, one in five women experience domestic violence during their lifetime, and 2 women a week in England and Wales are killed by their current or former partners. These figures have barely changed in 30 years….
We have laws, legal remedies, United Nations resolutions – and we have effective and comprehensive services for women and children, which have been developed and inspired by the experience and courage of survivors themselves.
But we haven’t yet eradicated violence against women and girls and we are a long way from doing so. Which means that the 16 Days of Action really matters because working together to raise awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue at local, national and international levels is the only way we will gain the necessary political commitment and action to stop this happening to women and girls. Wouldn’t that be a wonderful thing?!