YWCA WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE
The annual Week Without Violence with the YWCA aims to end violence against women and girls. The global movement observance takes place each year during the third week of October.
Every human has a right to safety. This is why violence is a violation of that basic human right. Unfortunately, violence against women and girls is prevalent. An estimated 35 percent of women throughout the world have been victims of violence at some point in their life. Some evidence suggests the number is much higher. Up to 70 percent of women may have experienced violence at the hands of an intimate partner. Men who witnessed their fathers using violence against their mothers are more likely to do the same to their partner.
Women who experience violence against them have higher rates of depression. Sadly, some women do not survive violent acts against them. Throughout the world, 137 women are killed every day by a member of their own family. In 2017, more than 30,000 women were killed intentionally by their current or former intimate partner.
Violence comes in various forms. These include forced sex, genital mutilation, bullying, cyber-harassment, sexual harassment, and psychological violence.
Less than 40 percent of women who experience violence seek help. Much needs to be done to end gender-based violence. Boys must be raised to know that violence against women is never okay. Men must be held accountable for their actions. Ensuring that women get the help they need is vitally important. Whole communities can work together to end violence against women. Communities with access to education, jobs, housing, health care, and affordable childcare have lower rates of violence against women.
HOW TO OBSERVE #WeekWithoutViolence
The World Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is a nonprofit organization that has a presence in over 120 countries. Some of the YWCA Week Without Violence events include podcasts by survivors of domestic violence, a Capitol Hill call-in day, live YouTube videos, and engaging Twitter chats.
Some ways to participate include:
- commit to supporting friends or family members who are in abusive relationships
- volunteer at your local domestic violence shelter
- ask about anti-violence policies at work and at school
- teach your children to treat others with respect
- let children know they are the ones who decide who touches them and where
- lead by example and don’t be violent or abusive yourself
Spread awareness by sharing #WeekWithoutViolence on social media.
YWCA WEEK WITHOUT VIOLENCE HISTORY
The YWCA established the Week Without Violence in 1995. The goal of the International initiative was to mobilize women, men and children to take action against violence in homes, schools, workplaces, and communities.