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16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence 25 November to 10th December 2020

26 Nov 2020

What is 16 Days of Activism?

16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign. It takes place each year from 25 November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) until 10 December (International Human Rights Day).
Significant dates throughout the campaign include:
November 25 – International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women
November 29 – International Women Human Rights Defenders Day
December 1 – World AIDS Day
December 5 – International Volunteer Day for Economic and Social Development
December 6 – Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre, which is observed as the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women in Canada
December 10 – International Human Rights Day and the anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Throughout the campaign, Mothers’ Union joins with around 6,000 organisations from approximately 187 countries who participate in the campaign, to raise awareness of, and call for an end to, gender-based violence in all forms and in all societies. There is often a theme for the campaign but as of the production of this pack (September 2020) this has not been announced.
As part of the campaign this year we will be holding our first Global Day which is centred around the disturbing figure that “1 in 3 women worldwide have experienced domestic or sexual abuse” and that Mothers’ Union, as a leading women’s organisation, believe this to be unacceptable.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence campaign is an extension of the day-to-day grassroots work of Mothers’ Union. We work alongside communities to help end gender-based violence and to support those affected by it, every day of the year.

Timetable of Mothers’ Union 16 Days Events

16 Days of Activism Begins+ online Morning Prayer 25th November
Online Prayer Zoom Meeting for 16 Days of Activism TBC
Global Day (Various online events will be taking place on this day) 5th December
16 Days of Activism Ends + online Evening Compline 10th December

Other events will be confirmed closer to the time. All events will be via Facebook Live and available on You Tube.  

What is Gender-Based Violence?

What is Gender-Based Violence?
  • Gender-based violence (GBV) is any act of violence or abuse which is directed at an individual or group on the basis of their gender.
  • It is important to note, therefore, that both women and men can be made targets of gender-based violence. However, it has been widely acknowledged that the majority of persons affected by gender-based violence are women and girls, as a result of unequal distribution of power in society between women and men. Further, female victims of violence suffer specific consequences as a result of gender discrimination.
  • Gender‐based violence against women is violence that is directed against a woman because she is a woman or that affects women disproportionately.
  • “Violence against women” is understood as a violation of human rights and a form of discrimination against women. It is all acts of gender‐based violence that result in, or are likely to result in, physical, sexual, psychological or economic harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.
  • Violence against women and girls is rooted in unequal power relations between men and women, and the underlying beliefs and values which accompany this, often manifesting as a means of control.
  • Gender-based violence occurs in every culture and context around the world. It can be carried out by a wide range of people, including: partners; family members; those in the community; strangers; friends; those in positions of authority; armed groups; and the state.
Gender-Based Violence Facts & Figures
  • In the year ending March 2019, in the UK and Ireland, 2.4 million adults aged 16 to 59 had experienced domestic abuse within the last year
  • In the UK and Ireland data published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show 80 women were killed by a current or ex-partner between April 2018 and March 2019 – a 27 per cent increase on the year before.
  • The UK police receive a call every minute about domestic abuse, 89 percent are about a woman being abused by a man
  • 20% of children in the UK have lived with an adult perpetrating domestic violence
  • The overwhelming majority of domestic abuse cases are not prosecuted; in the UK only 8% of domestic abuse-related crimes reported to the police will end in conviction
  • Globally, only 1% of adolescent girls who have experienced forced sex, reach out for professional help
  • Only 77 countries have legislation that explicitly criminalises marital rape
  • 23 percent of women in high income countries, 25 percent in the western region and 8 percent of women in the south-east Asia are abused each year
  • At least one in three women globally will experience some form of gender-based violence at some point in their lifetime
  • Violence against women can damage the health and wellbeing of a women from physical health consequences such as chronic pain syndromes, induced abortions and disabilities to mental health consequences such as PTSD and depression
  • It’s estimated 650 million women and girls alive today were married before their 18th birthday. Child marriage often results in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupts schooling, limits the girl’s opportunities and increases her risk of experiencing domestic violence.
  • In the EU, 1 in 10 women have experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 15, and 1 in 20 have been raped. Just over 1 in 5 women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from either a current or previous partner
  • Women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic violence than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria
Useful External Resources
Mothers’ Union has developed many relationships and worked with a number of organisations over the past years to develop our stance for 16 Days of Activism. We would like to draw your attention to some of their excellent resources which you can use alongside this pack.
Restored – Ending Domestic Abuse, A Pack for Churches - https://www.restoredrelationships.org/resources/info/51/
Restored – Handbook for Female Domestic Survivors of Abuse - https://www.restoredrelationships.org/survivorshandbook/
There are also a number of helpful resources and information throughout their website - https://www.restoredrelationships.org/
Anglican Consultative Council and the Anglican Alliance – Domestic Abuse and Covid 19 How Churches can Respond - https://www.anglicancommunion.org/media/415112/2007-da-covid-19-churches_en.pdf
World Council of Churches – Thursdays in Black - https://www.oikoumene.org/en/get-involved/thursdays-in-black
It is vital that victims/survivors of domestic abuse know that they are not alone during COVID-19 and there is still help available in these challenging times.  This is highlighted in a Government awareness campaign launched on April 11.

Blog by Bishop of London - Loving as Christ loved during COVID-19

Podcast - Bishop of Gloucester, Rachel Treweek talks to members of the Nelson Trust about domestic abuse

Different Forms of Gender-Based Violence
Gender-based violence takes many forms. It can include (but is not limited to):
  • Intimate partner violence, which can include a range of sexual, psychological and physical coercive acts used against adult and adolescents (particularly women and girls) by a current or former intimate partner;
  • domestic violence;
  • mental abuse;
  • psychological violence, including threats, humiliation, mocking and controlling behaviours;
  • emotional abuse;
  • economic violence, such as denying access of the victim to financial resources, property, healthcare, education, or the labour market, and denying them participation in economic decision-making;
  • sexual violence, including rape, sexual assault and harassment in all public and private spheres of life;
  • physical violence;
  • crimes committed in the name of so-called ‘honour’;
  • institutional or structural violence, which includes any form of structural inequality or institutional discrimination that maintains a woman in an inferior position to other people within her family, household or community;
  • forced marriage
  • child marriage;
  • female genital mutilation;
  • female infanticide and sex-selective abortion;
  • human trafficking, slavery, and sexual exploitation;
  • stalking and harassment;
  • emerging forms of violations, such as online harassment and abuse, various forms of sexual abuse instigated or facilitated through the use of information and communication technologies, stalking, and bullying.
Support Available for Survivors of Gender-Based Violence

Forced Marriage Unit Helpline:
0207 008 0151 / email: fmu@fcdo.gov.uk
Honour Network Helpline: 0800 599 9247 / www.karmanirvana.org.uk
National Domestic violence Helpline: 0800 200 0247 / https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/
Refuge: 0808 200 0247 / www.refuge.org.uk
Women’s Aid: 0808 200 0247 /  www.womensaid.org.uk
Rights of Women: 020 7251 887 / www.rightsofwomen.org.uk
FLOWS (Finding Legal Options for Women Survivors):  0203 745 7707 / https://www.flows.org.uk/
Men’s Advice Line: 0808 8010 327 / www.mensadviceline.org.uk
Mankind Initiative: 01823 334 244 / www.mankind.org.uk
National Centre for Domestic Violence: 0800 970 2070 / www.ncdv.org.uk
Samaritans: 116 123 / www.samaritans.org
Rape Crisis England and Wales: 0808 802 9999 / www.rapecrisis.org.uk
Rape Crisis Scotland: 08088 01 03 02 / www.rapecrisisscotland.org.uk
Victim Support: 08 08 1689 111 / www.victimsupport.org.uk
The Survivors Trust: 08088 010818 / www.thesurvivorstrust.org
National LGBT Domestic Violence Helpline: 0800 999 5428 / www.theproudtrust.org/national-lgbt-domestic-abuse-helpline/
Respect Phoneline: 0808 802 4040 / www.respectphoneline.org.uk
Republic of Ireland:
Amen: (for men) 01-5543811 / www.amen.ie
Crime Victim Helpline: 116 006 / www.crimevictimshelpline.ie
Sonas: 087 952 5217 /  www.domesticabuse.ie

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