This year marks the 28th anniversary of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence which was initiated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership at Rutgers University in 1991. The 16-days campaign begins on November 25, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and ends December 10, Human Rights Day.
Violence against women (VAW) is the most pervasive human rights violation on earth.
According to the Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, violence against women and girls “means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering in women and girls, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
VAW encompasses physical, sexual, and psychological violence occurring in the family (e.g., battering, sexual abuse of children, marital rape), in the general community (e.g., rape, sexual abuse, sexual harassment and intimidation at work, in educational institutions, trafficking, forced prostitution), and perpetrated or condoned by the country (e.g., military, war, torture).
Results of numerous research studies concluded that men who witnessed their fathers using violence against their mothers, and men who experienced some form of violence at home as children, were significantly more likely to report perpetrating intimate partner violence in their adult relationships.
This year, the Say NO UNITE campaign centers on ending rape, sexual violence, and abuse. During 2018, 1,161 incidents of rape were reported to law enforcement in San Diego County and the number of rapes totaled 539 for the first six months of 2019.
Through partnerships, we can work together to increase awareness of VAW while engaging in educational programs designed to prevent VAW, protect victims, and help prosecute perpetrators.
Women’s Museum of California