Steph's Place

November 25th - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

By Steph


The question that has to be asked is why?

Not why International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (#IDEVAW and #IDEVAW21) is necessary for sure that is obvious - globally, nearly one in three women are abused over a lifetime, and more recently, because of the pressures of covid that figure has dramatically increased, some estimates are as high as FIVE times higher. Even more concerning is that it is estimated that just 10% of cases are reported. 

The question is why do men abuse women - all women?

But let's start at the very beginning.

IDEVAW is one of several days designated by the United Nations to call out human rights abuses and spotlight just what is wrong in the world. Campaigns are launched over days, weeks, years, and even decades, each with a theme. They sometimes tie in with other stakeholders, such as the World Health Organisation.

A complete list of all the daily & weekly campaigns, along with relevant dates, can be viewed here

Concerning IDEVAW - the UN provides plenty of information both to interested parties and activists in various languages, including themed social media banners and posters.  

This year's theme centres around the colour orange and has the hashtags #GenerationEquality #orangetheworld #16days and #spreadtheword. Although IDEVAW centres on November 25th, it is, in fact, a 16-day campaign ending on December 10th, which is designated International Human Rights Day

It is not the point of this blog to replicate what the UN says about IDEVAW, but I found exploring their pages both informative and deeply shocking - but will share some words with you.

For example, the home page says this:

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.

In general terms, it manifests itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms, encompassing:

  • intimate partner violence (battering, psychological abuse, marital rape, femicide);
  • sexual violence and harassment (rape, forced sexual acts, unwanted sexual advances, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, street harassment, stalking, cyber- harassment);
  • human trafficking (slavery, sexual exploitation);
  • female genital mutilation; and
  • child marriage.

As a trans woman, I was delighted to see the UN do not forget us in relation to IDEVAW. Gender-Critical (GC) ideology has not got them - albeit that sadly, in the UK, we are ignored by the GC or, used as a 'marketing tool' for their 'beliefs' - often in relation to trans women murders, or to be precise the lack of them.

Very recently a known GC woman Tweeted on 'Trans Day of Remembrance' naming the trans women who were murdered - making "the dig" that the few trans murders were spread over ten years. Jibes then followed saying that trans women were a "safe demographic".

This is not true, as trans women, in particular, suffer not just domestic abuse and violence, but also social violence at incredibly high rates. 

The home page on UN website says: 

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable - for instance, young girls and older women, women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender or intersex, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, or women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises.

Violence and against Women and Girls (VAWG) seems an ongoing problem with no answers - and in regards to trans folk, we know only too well about the issues in our everyday lives. 

Perhaps much less so against trans men - but certainly there was a time "tra*** bashing" was an occupational pass time for ignorant men who hate trans women in particular. Fortunately, the press no longer uses such abhorrent language, but sadly, the violence stays with us.

The 2020 Transphobic Hate Crime Report published by Galop says that within a 12 month period, one in four of us suffered physical assault or the threat of physical assault, and nearly one in five had experienced transphobic sexual assault or the threat of sexual assault.

These stats are considerably worse than cisgender women and as with cis women, we invariably dont report them to the police either with Galop saying just 1 in 7 events are reported. 

As the UN states in their info, victims of violence and abuse must report it if we are ever likely to make any progress on the issue of eliminating violence against women - yes, ALL women!

We simply do not talk enough about this issue - indeed, is that because the TERF War takes so much of our time?

It is certainly my view that women and feminism lose out - all over the sex marker on a birth certificate of a trans man or trans woman! 

Every three days in our #EveryThreeDays campaign, I write about a woman killed by a man.

The patterns are very regular - abuse, jealousy and control all being ingredients. Every three days is a horrible statistic that we must all work to eradicate.

The UN target is to eliminate violence against women by 2030.

Working through the UN website, I was, however, shocked to discover that women in Guatemala are murdered at the rate of TWO per day. This figure is beyond belief. 

And what about Female Genital Mutilation, also known as "cutting", an abhorrent practice still practised in many countries and, specifically, Africa. 

We MUST call this out!

Do explore the UN website, check out the Virtual Knowledge Centre accessed via the home page and be prepared for some horrible shocks.

Trans people do indeed have human rights issues in the UK - but for sure, there are far worse examples of human rights abuses in other countries where women have no voice - who are beaten, raped and mutilated. 

Over the next 16 days, we must think and work for them.  

Let's ALL go ORANGE!

Authored by Steph @PlaceSteph

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