What’s love got to do with it?
(Tina Turner, world famous singer and victim of domestic abuse)
With the #metoo movement in full swing, women, supported by their sisters around the world and – sometimes for the first time – heard by the men in their lives, are using the momentum to address issues that are important to all of us ladies, may we be 2 or 92.
Yes, “Time is up”, this is the moment for us to be self-aware, stand up for ourselves, claim our right to equality in all possible fields and point out as well as put an end to all unwanted or even abusive behavior towards women. After all “women’s rights are human rights”, as a certain Hillary Rodham Clinton has already demanded at the United Nations Fourth World Conference on Women in 1995.
What exciting times to be a women, huh?
So, let’s use this platform to turn our attention to an important topic that sadly concerns too many women all around the world: domestic violence.
The sad facts
This is how the UN defines “violence against women”
“any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.” This is how the United Nations defines violence against women.”
In collaboration with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the South Africa Medical Research Council, the WHO conducted an analysis referring to existing data from over 80 countries that found that worldwide 1 in 3, or 35%, of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner or non-partner.
According to the study, there are many risk factors that can lead to domestic violence that often consequently lead to horrific results, such as:
- lower levels of education (perpetration of sexual violence and experience of sexual violence)
- a history of exposure to child maltreatment (perpetration and experience)
- witnessing family violence (perpetration and experience)
- antisocial personality disorder (perpetration)
- harmful use of alcohol (perpetration and experience)
- having multiple partners or suspected by their partners of infidelity (perpetration)
- attitudes that condone violence (perpetration)
- community norms that privilege or ascribe higher status to men and lower status to women
- low levels of women’s access to paid employment.
To add faces to those numbers and facts, here are some TED Talks that show brave women telling their own story to raise awareness, to encourage others to fight back and/or create safe places for victims of abuse:
Leslie Morgan Steiner: Why domestic violence victims don’t leave
Esta Soler: How we turned the tide on domestic violence (Hint: the Polaroid helped)
Fortunately many men are joining in to raise awareness towards, and fight against, domestic violence, thus it is crucial that men take responsibility and are supportive to the cause.
Jason Katzs: Violence agains women – it’s a men’s issue
Javier Espinoza: Turning pain into power
Here is what we can do
It is self-evident that if we are educated about a certain topic, it is much more likely that we are aware of a certain problem area or even take action to improve the circumstances. So let’s educate ourselves on the topic of domestic violence, talk about it and take action when needed. This does not mean exposing oneself to any danger.
Here you can you find help, if you are affected yourself:
How to react if you witness domestic violence: Gewaltinfo.at
We are all in this together: Women Against Violence Europe
picture credits: Marantha Pizzaras via unsplash.com