No More Violence against Women: Looking beyond the 16 days

Thank you to all of the WIs and Federations that took part in the 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence from 25th November (White Ribbon Day) - 10th December (Human Rights Day). WI members generously donated goods to their local women’s refuges, held candlelight vigils, raised money for their local women’s refuges and held virtual discussions to learn more about the issue.

Violence against women in the UK is still widespread with devastating effects. We’ve outlined 10 ways you can keep campaigning on this issue through education and by taking action.

Education

  1. Watch the Supporting Survivors webinar: On December 1st, the WI hosted the ‘Supporting Survivors’ webinar, where members had the chance to hear from and ask questions to some great speakers. We heard from Nicole Jacobs, Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales; April Benson, Director of Service at Aylesbury Women’s Aid; Jess Asato, Head of Public Affairs and Policy at SafeLives; and Dr Emma Katz, Senior Lecturer in Childhood and Youth at Liverpool Hope University.
    The speakers discussed the impacts of Covid-19 on the domestic abuse landscape, what WI members can do locally and nationally to support survivors and how to recognise abuse.
    The webinar is now available to watch on My WI here: https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/SupportingSurvivors
  2. Hold a virtual WI meeting to discuss the ‘Understanding Violence against women’ presentations: The first presentation from 2019 examines the different forms of abuse and looks at the relationship between gender stereotypes, gender inequality and abuse.
    The second presentation from 2020 looks at some common myths around the issue of violence against women and also examines victim-blaming.
    To download the presentations, visit https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/public-affairs-and-campaigns/current-campaigns/no-more-violence-against-women
  3. Read our previous blog posts on the Istanbul Convention and the Domestic Abuse Bill, which is due to become law early next year.
    This blog piece explores the key points of the Bill and provides an analysis of what it could mean for survivors: www.thewi.org.uk/media-centre/blog/blog-listing/2020/may/understanding-the-domestic-abuse-bill
    This blog piece summarises the Istanbul Convention and outlines how you can support our call for it to be ratified: www.thewi.org.uk/media-centre/blog/blog-listing/2020/june/violence-against-women-the-istanbul-convention
  4. Read the new report by Femicide Census: Based on the most comprehensive study to date of women killed by men, the report finds that 1,425 women and girls were killed in the UK over the ten year period between 2009-2018. To read the report in full, visit www.femicidecensus.org.
  5. Share sources of support: Download these posters which outline sources of support and provide information on Clare’s Law, for yourself or a loved one and share them with your friends, family, fellow WI members and other loved ones.
    Please click here for the 'sources of support'-poster and here for the information on Clare's Law.

Action

  1. Keep donating: During the Coronavirus lockdown, domestic violence dramatically increased as women living with their abusers became trapped. Multiple support services have seen a surge in calls to helplines during the lockdown period and women’s refuges have seen a dramatic decline in the donations they receive.  If you are able to, we are asking WI members to get in touch with their local women’s refuge to see what items they need and to collect donations for them.
    Find out where your local women’s refuge is here: www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-abuse-directory/
  2. Fundraise for your local women’s refuge: Whilst the 16 days of activism 2020 may have come to an end, there are still ways you can support your local women’s refuge. We have produced guidance on how you can organise a virtual fundraising quiz and set up a challenge and get sponsored. You can download the guidance documents here: https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/public-affairs-and-campaigns/current-campaigns/no-more-violence-against-women
  3. Write to your MP: Violence against women in the UK is still widespread, and specialist frontline services are in crisis. Further action on the part of Government is needed. Use our template letter to write to your MP calling for strategic, sustainable funding for specialist support services. Email us at pa@nfwi.org.uk to obtain your copy.
  4. Sign the petition: The Istanbul Convention sets minimum standards for governments to meet when tackling violence against women. 8 June 2020 marked 8 years since the UK signed the Istanbul Convention. However, the Convention has not yet been ratified by the UK government, which means it is not yet legally binding. Sign the online petition here: www.change.org/ICchangeUK
  5. Get planning: As part of our No More Violence campaign, every year we ask WI members to take part in the 16 days of activism to end gender-based violence. Get in touch with us at pa@nfwi.org.uk for some guidance to start planning for 2021.

For further information, please get in touch with us at pa@nfwi.org.uk.


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