In honor of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, I’m highlighting a couple stories about the subject from around the world.

  • Earlier this year UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon launched UNite to End Violence Against Women, a campaign that wished to create awareness and raise political will to address both the effects and causes  of violence against women.
  • This year culminates the first phase of UNFEM’s Say NO to Violence campaign. This campaign is based on the same principles as the one above with the added emphasis of wanting to demonstrate that there is a large world wide constituency that demands better treatment for women.

Here are some soberring facts (visit site for full list), coutesy of;

  • 17.6% of women in the Unites States have survived a complete of attempted rape.
  • 64% of women who reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked since age 18 were victimized by a current or former husband, cohabiting partner, boyfriend or date.
  • Only about half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police.
  • Every two minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted.  Every 15 seconds a woman is battered, usually by her intimate partner.
  • Females ages 12 to 24 are at the greatest risk of experiencing a rape or sexual assault.
  • World wide 4 million women and girls are trafficked annually.
  • More than 90 million African women and girls are victims of female circumcision or other forms of genital mutilation.

On this day I can’t help but notice the many campaigns out there calling for an end to violence against women, every I’m surprised (and maybe I shouldn’t be) to see that things haven’t really changed all that much from the previous year. But I think what gets me the most is thinking that we are being victimized by the very people in our lives. They say that the vast majority of women who have had to suffer through any kind of gendered attack knew her assailant. Also, since I currently live in the USA, I always shudder to think of the sky high levels of violence towards women that take place every day here when this country is supposedly at “peace”…

Sigh, maybe next year will be better…

“All of us – men and women, soldiers and peacekeepers, citizens and leaders – have a responsibility to help end violence against women. States must honor their commitments to prevent violence, bring perpetrators to justice and provide redress to victims. And each of us must speak out in out families, workplaces and communities, so that acts of violence against cease.” – UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon.

If you want to learn more about the history of this day, check out my entry from last year.