By Philippa Randle
16 Days of Action
Conflicts, humanitarian crises and increasing climate-related disasters have led to higher levels of violence against women and girls (VAWG). This has intensified during the COVID-19 pandemic, bringing into sharp focus the urgent need to stop the growing ‘epidemic within a pandemic’.
Globally, nearly one-in-three women have experienced violence, with crises driving the numbers even higher.
In the UK, several recent cases involving violence against women and girls have raised concern, including the death of 33-year-old Sarah Everard; the murder of Sabina Nessa, 28, killed while walking to meet friends; and the murders of the sisters Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman in a park in north-west London in June 2020.
A woman is murdered by a man every four days in the UK (ONS, 2019).
97% of women in the UK have been sexually assaulted (UN Women, 2021).
1 in 4 women in the UK will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (ONS, 2019).
71% of victims don’t get any support through the family courts or criminal justice system (Safe Lives, 2021).
The highest ever number of rapes was recorded in England and Wales this year (ONS, 2021), and yet rape convictions have fallen to a record low (CPS, 2020).
Working closely with the Board at Kent-based charity SATEDA (Swale Action To End Domestic Abuse), to help recruit their new CEO, Mirelle Frost, opened my eyes to the incredible complexities of domestic abuse and how hard it is to get away from abusive relationships.
The importance of local grass roots organisations which support women and families to get out of abusive relationships, cannot be overstated.
SATEDA provides direct access to support, advocacy and advice for victims and survivors of domestic abuse. They offer a full journey of support: assisting women with remaining safe whilst in an abusive relationship, helping them to safely exit the abusive relationship when they are ready, and providing support in their recovery as they rebuild their lives after abuse. They also offer survivors of abuse the opportunity to be part of SATEDA, as volunteers, where they can use their experiences to help others and find their own voices.
While working with SATEDA, I was overwhelmed by the warmth, generosity, and commitment of the team there and the lengths they go to helping women and children in need.
Mirelle Frost, CEO SATEDA
Catching up with Mirelle last week to hear about how she is settling into her new role, she shared details of the 16 Days of Action campaign, which I feel compelled in turn to share with you.
The campaign is part of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an annual international campaign that started on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. Launched in 1991 it continues to be coordinated each year and is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organisations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
You can help support the campaign by
- talking about domestic abuse and sexual assault with those around you
- sharing the content SATEDA will be putting out during the 16 days (follow @satedacharity)
- wearing orange to work in solidarity
- making a donation to SATEDA
And look out for the Warning Signs_16 Days of Action
Women deserve to feel safe, both in and outside their homes. Help raise awareness by supporting the 16 Days campaign.