Femicide, forced marriage, women in armed conflict, rape, trafficking, female genital mutilation, partner violence, slapping, pushing, hitting, locking, disparaging, threatening, fearing, humiliation, economic violence, sexual abuse, marital rape….
Have you ever counted the many forms violence against women?
Where does it start and where does it end? Let’s think about children growing up in the atmosphere of family violence. Unfortunately, the majority of them continue to live in the same way they grew up – some as victims of violence and some as perpetrators of violence.
Also, poverty, drugs and alcohol abuse raise the risk of the violence.
Sadly it is an endemic problem, it happens here, there, every day, every hour, for decades. It happens in our own neighborhoods, even in our own families.
Decades of work around the world have been invested against violence in the family.
Campaigning, networking, trainings, legal frameworks, multi-sectoral approaches, sheltering, work with men….
Still, the data around the world reveal that between 10 and 69 percent (pdf) of women report being physically assaulted by an intimate male partner during their lifetimes.
Studies around the world show that 40 to 70 percent (pdf) of all women who are murdered are killed by their current or former husbands or partners.
Imagine a country where stopping violence in the family would be a political priority: Zero tolerance towards violence in the family.
I’d like to imagine my Montenegro where:
Women report crimes against them more frequently
They feel protected by institutions
They’re not afraid of their perpetrators’ reaction to reporting the crime.
Police, social welfare centres, health institutions work quickly to help women who have been hurt, not judging a woman based on her skirt length, haircut or freshness of make-up.
Court procedures are efficient, affordable, with meaningful sentences.
The sense of guilt evaporates as a multi-sectoral response to violence changes attitudes of even more men – to lead the movement to stop violence against women
I believe it can happen. I believe what we imagine today can be our reality tomorrow. It’s the only way our work makes sense.
Let’s use this 16 days campaign to recap what we did in last year to make a difference. Let’s think what we can do in the upcoming year.
Every action, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. Yours, mine, institutional, organizational, bilateral, and international. We can do it! Believe it and work for it!
What do you think we should be doing in the coming year?