Each year, from 25th November (International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women) to 10th December, (World Human Rights Day) the 16 Days of Activism campaign calls for action against one of the world’s most pernicious violations of human rights – violence against women.
Organisations like Solace have been working for decades to support victims/survivors of abuse and striving to raise awareness of the impact of gender-based violence, discrimination and the societal damage caused by misogyny.
We’ve all achieved so much and we’re proud of our work., Last year Solace supported more than 20,000 women and girls and we know we help to improve the lives of women daily. We know our sister organisations are working equally hard and making huge differences daily, we support and honour them.
But we all still need to do more, the epidemic of male violence against women and girls continues, many women are still overlooked and voiceless, too many still live with fear and shame. We need to stand together in solidarity.
Throughout these 16 days, we’ll be sharing 16 stories from 16 women we have supported in the last year, showing the diversity of women and their experiences that we work with in London. Every woman is unique and no story is the same, but what they share is the right to live safe, secure lives free from abuse.
In the UK alone a woman is killed by her abuser every three days. 2020 crime statistics found that 618,000 women experienced sexual assault and 892,000 women experienced stalking. Women's trust in the police is at an all-time low with more than 80% of women who have experienced sexual abuse saying that they did not report it to the police.
Black and minoritised women are even less likely to report abuse and many women still live in fear.
This is a societal problem that needs to be addressed and this enduring hatred of women must be discarded in favour of a better, fairer, safer way of living for everyone.
Women and men need to stand with us during these 16 days. Let’s all raise our voices and together we can make change happen.