16 Days to End Violence Against Women

16 Days to End Violence Against Women

Today marks the beginning of the annual 16 Days campaign, to end violence against women. Marsha Scott writes on why, as the Westminster austerity measures increasingly start to bite, this campaign remains so important to women in Scotland today. 

Today, November 25, is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the first day of the annual 16 Days of Activism on Violence against Women.  It is a day to mark the centuries of gendered violence experienced by women and children across the world, to celebrate the resistance and strength that so many women and chilren have demonstrated over those centuries, and, perhaps most important, to re-dedicate ourselves and our communities to ending this violence.

The 16 Days stretch from today to December 10th, International Human Rights Day (why, yes, women’s rights are human rights), and includes December 6th, which marks the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre (in Canada, the National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women).

Every year at this time, large and small events marking the 16 Days are held all over Scotland, matching similar activity all over the globe.  As you read this, people around the world are talking about, reading about, meeting about, marching about men’s violence against women.

In Scotland, we have much to celebrate. 

  • We have a proud history of feminist organising to provide support and advocacy —women helping women to help women. 
  • We have a strong political consensus, reinforced each year by the debate in the Scottish Parliament each year, and held yesterday.[1]
  • We have a 15-year policy history, stretching over both Labour and SNP administrations, of recognising violence against women as a cause and consequence of women’s inequality.
  • We have a national strategy, Equally Safe, that provides a gendered, sensible, and sensitive framework for ending violence against women.[2]

We also have so much work to do.  In 2014-15 there were 59,882 incidents of domestic abuse recorded by the police in Scotland, an increase of 2.5% from 2013-14.[3]  In 2012/13, 1372 rapes and 90 attempted rapes were reported to the police in Scotland. (Statistical Bulletin Crime and Justice Series, Recorded Crime in Scotland 2012-13).  In the same period, 7,693 sexual offences were reported. We have no robust estimates of how many women and children in Scotland have experienced female genital mutilation, forced marriage, child sexual abuse, or the other forms of violence against women, but we know the numbers are significant.

In these times of austerity, recession, and increasing economic dependence for women and their families, demand for services rise, women’s resilience thins, and the need for our activism is crystal clear.  Let us mark this place in our history by honouring the work and sacrifices of the sisters that came before us, and, most important, let’s get down to the business of ending violence against women.  Because in Scotland, it’s so clear that women’s inequality is the cause and consequence of violence against women, that we know exactly where to start. 

[1] http://www.scottishparliament.tv/Archive?categoryId=4937a1a1-d7eb-45a0-a0f2-ba952f11b31d&parentCategoryClicked=False&pageNumber=1&orderByField=ScheduledStart&queryOrder=DESC

[2] http://www.gov.scot/Publications/2014/06/7483.  A recently updated strategy will soon be published by the Scottish Government.

[3] http://www.gov.scot/Topics/Statistics/Browse/Crime-Justice/TrendDomesticAbuse

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  • Patty Mattos
    commented 2017-09-28 19:33:28 +0100
    I think this should not even be on the agenda, the world is so lost that we are thinking of not attacking women, this is surreal. #peace #love #women http://www.alivenotdead.com/patty-mattos/monte-o-seu-proprio-negocio-porcelanato-liquido
  • Susie Skilling
    commented 2016-04-08 18:53:59 +0100
    I need advice can anyone help, domestic abuse case no one will touch it. It’s been going on since 2002 the ex narcissist held it up, now I’m about to lose my house help.
  • Alexia Salgado
    commented 2016-03-21 22:30:58 +0000
    Women deserve all good, we have much ability to do whatever we want, regardless of anything. Yes the end of violence against women http://www.classaude.com.br/diabetes-controlada
  • Susie Susieskl
    commented 2016-01-17 19:16:04 +0000
    Iv had a horrific time, seperated since 28 2 2002, found out dec 2015 im divorced at long last, probably due to sending him a bill for all the money he owes me, £84,500, nearing the end of the nightmare divorcing a narcissist who held it up by changing seperation dates, going in and out of jail mental hospital care, all for his benefits, he hasn’t worked or paid any of his share,he broke the contract to pay, I’m worried sick as I have no right to the money he owes me, and he can force me to give him half my house. The justice system isn’t what I trusted it to be, I have no life due to paying out all the time while he has free legal aid for 12 years 10 months so far. I’m hoping for help from a smart lady who understands me, the first ever in years of huge stress. My human right to be free of the abuser has not happened, this was a simple case, I never expected all this. I hope nicola can do something.