ORANGE THE WORLD: END VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN NOW!!
Thursday 25th November International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women: 16 Days of Activism
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
In support of this civil society initiative, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations.
The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”
The Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum (BCDAF) Response
Domestic Abuse is a major issue in British society and was recently recognised as such with the passing of the first ever Domestic Abuse Act in April this year. It’s estimated that one in three women will experience Domestic abuse in their lifetime. Coupled with this Domestic abuse is higher in black communities including faith communities. However our churches have been slow to provide an appropriate response.
The Black Church Domestic Abuse Forum (BCDAF) was founded with the aim of raising awareness of DV within the church and to provide support including training to church leadership teams on how to provide an improved response to eliminate DA not only within their congregations but also in the communities where they gave their ministries.
During the 16 days of Activism – BCDAF will be jointly hosting – with Premier Christian Radio – two debates addressing domestic abuse and the challenges posed in our churches and communities.
The first debate will be aired on Premier Radio on 25th November and will address why the Black Majority Church has been so slow to respond to Domestic abuse, why it is so critical for the church to improve its performance in this area and what they can do to address this. Muyiwa Olarewaju will be facilitating the debate.
Panel members are:
Nicola Jacobs – The government’s first ever Commissioner for Domestic Abuse
Dr Joanna Wilson – University of East London who is currently conducting research in this area
Pastor Mike White – senior pastor of The Tab, London
And Elaine Bowes – BCDAF member
The second debate will address ‘red flags in relationships and the increasing level of abuse in the relationships of young people
Panel members are:
Marcia Dixon: BCDAF Member
Pastor Leondre Douglas – Youth minister
Michael Duah – Youth leader
Dr Norva Semoy Abiona
What actions can you take?.
If you would like to take part in the 16 days of Activism consider the following as actions that you could take:
- Change your profile picture or cover photo on social media to show your support for ending violence against women and girls.
- Know the Hotline! National Domestic Abuse Helpline provides free confidential advice and support 24/7 to anyone affected by domestic abuse . Memorize their number – 0808 2000 247 – plug it into your phone, & keep it handy — you never know when someone you know might need it.
- Movies help us talk about difficult topics like domestic violence. Watch a movie that deals with issues of power, control, & abuse with your family or friends. Talk about the themes raised in the film and how those things may impact people in your community.
- Lend a hand! Domestic abuse projects and programs rely on local volunteers to help them in their work. Call your local refuge to learn how you can volunteer and make a difference in the lives of survivors and their children.
- Now is the perfect time to organize an event to raise awareness & share information about the resources available in your community. Film screenings or panel discussions are great ways to start conversations!
- Words have power! Gender stereotypes contribute to a world that allows violence against women. Commit to changing your language and say “hey, not cool” to interrupt these patterns.
- Your social media feeds are a great way to learn about ending domestic abuse. Follow the pages of projects and programs on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest to get involved and stay informed!
- Raise a glass & raise awareness! Host a wine & cheese fundraiser with your friends. It’s easy: over your drink of choice, share info about domestic violence, along with actions that you all can take to make a difference. Ask your friends to make a donation and give the funds to an organization working to end domestic abuse
- Tell someone about it. Though 1 in 3 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime, many are silent. Talk about abuse with friends, family & co – workers. Break the silence, show your support & build a community that is ready to end domestic abuse.