Domestic violence and sexual abuse against women and girls - Is it a problem?
Across the world, as many as 1 in 3 women suffer violence from an intimate partner. In Ethiopia, physical violence is experienced by 50% of all women, and in Kenya, 83% have been physically abused at least once in their life. In the UK a survey, undertaken in 2011/12, showed there were 536,000 victims of sexual assault over the last year and 2 million of domestic abuse.
Can anything be done to reduce this?
The Mothers’ Union has been tackling the issue in a number of ways:
Often violence is used against women, and accepted by women, when ‘It’s just the way things are.’ It often stems from a devaluing of women, or the need to show them who’s Boss. The Mothers’ Union has been working in several African countries to promote literary, business and farming skills amongst women, and these have proved to have increased husbands’ respect for their wives with the added effect of reducing physical abuse!
Giving Support. In the UK, many Mothers’ Union supporters give toiletries and other practical items to women’s refuges.
Raising Awareness. The Mothers’ Union campaigns to end violence against women, and sends a delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women that meets annually. This year it lobbied successfully for a strong statement to governments on making or effectively enforcing laws to protect women and bring abusers to justice.
What can I do?
You could get involved during the 16 days of activism, that spans the days between November 25th, the International Day Against Violence Against Women, and 10th December, International Human Rights Day.
Here’s some ideas:
Pray. For help for the victims, for a change of heart and attitude in those who abuse others, for governments to be effective in reducing violence against women.
Publicise the UK National Domestic Violence Helpline 0808 2000 247, perhaps by getting permission to put up posters in the ladies loos at your church or place of work.
Learn more about this issue by visiting the ‘Restored’ website.
Can I share what I do?
It would be great to see what our supporters do during the 16 days of Activism. You can visit the Central Mothers’ Union and tweet or use the Facebook pages, share with others in your branch, churches and community.
The Mothers’ Union supports Family Life and Campaigns for Gender Equality and for the end to Gender Based Violence
For more information about this 16 days of Activism campaign click here
An excerpt from the Agreed Conclusion of the United Nations Commission on Women with regard to this subject can be found here.