Every year, countries across the world come together to hold events and campaigns designed to make people aware of the terrible impacts of gender-based violence on everyone who is living with it.
16 Days of Activism, which runs from 25 November to 10 December, shares information about these impacts through events, videos, podcasts and case studies. Hearing from people living with gender-based violence, their children and their wider family and friends should make us all more aware what violence means, recognise the signs and be able to help.
Gender-based violence isn’t always physical. Living with someone who tries to control you or make you do things you don’t want to; being constantly undermined; not being able to access household money and earnings – these are all forms of abusive behaviour too.
IJB Chair, Councillor Fiona O’Donnell says:
‘East Lothian Health and Social Care Partnership is fully supportive of the 16 Days of Action and we’ll be sharing information on social media throughout to raise awareness of the campaign.
‘The United Nations says that there has been a spike in domestic violence reporting across the world during the pandemic. I am sorry to say that we are also aware of a rise in reports in East Lothian. No doubt there will be factors driving this increase but there is never a justification for gender-based violence, whatever the circumstances. It damages health and wellbeing, limits people’s freedom and potential, and is a fundamental violation of human rights.
‘I think we all have a duty to be aware of gender-based violence and not to shy away when we know it is going on. I know it’s not easy but it is only by acknowledging that it’s happening, and that it’s not a just private matter between couples and in families, that we can start to put an end to it.
‘Gender-based violence is never acceptable. Please participate in the 16 Days of Action in any way that you can.’