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16 Days of Action against Domestic Violence- Reflection by Rose Saeed

Posted on 24th November 2020

This global event began in 1991 as 16 days of activism against gender based violence initiated by the center for Women’s Global Leadership. It was an international campaign designed to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign runs every year from 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day.

This year 16 Days of Action Against Domestic Violence UK is aimed at businesses that lack an infrastructure to deal with the large-scale problem that is domestic violence.

Companies can do more to aid their employees who endure domestic violence, train those who witness it, and to protect staff as a whole.

Women are more likely to experience multiple incidents of domestic violence than men which consist of; sexual assault, intimate partner violence and stalking. Regardless of race, religious or ethnic group, sexuality, disability or class any woman can experience domestic violence. However some women who experience other forms of discrimination and oppression may face further barriers to disclosing abusing and finding help. Read More

This Call to Action Domestic Violence Day also raises the awareness that this is an issue which affects all genders, it should not be defined as a ‘gendered crime’ nor should it be viewed as ‘gendered in nature’ it should be defined as a crime as it is legally (UK legislation is gender neutral) both in terms of human rights and equality.

When a male discloses that they are a victim of domestic violence they should be treated in the same manner as female victims who disclose. The police are not always fully trained to spot the signs of a male who is a victim of domestic violence and can assume that they have been in a fight with another male whilst on a night out.

The definition of DVA is: ‘any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling or threatening behaviour, abuse or violence between those aged 16 or over that have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender. This entails physical, sexual, psychological, emotional and financial abuse’  

The Office of National Office of Statistics (ONS, 2018) has statistics of women perpetrating violence against men during the period of April 2014 and March 2017. Over the time period stated, the majority of victims of DVA were 88% male and 12% were females. It was established that 45% of male victims were killed by their partner or ex-partner, 7 suspects were male and 38 were female.

To Read more about support for male survivors of domestic violence follow this link.

As a result of witnessing domestic violence, children can experience short and long term, emotional, behavioural and cognitive effects. However each child’s response to trauma is different, they could be resilient and this may not have any effects on them. Furthermore how children respond to the trauma of witnessing domestic violence and may vary. This could be in accordance to various factors which include but not limited to gender, age, race and stage of development. Children may also have ambivalent feelings towards their abusive and non-abusive parent resulting in them becoming confused, powerless, frightened, insecure, angry and guilty.

Read more

Domestic violence needs to be everybody’s business, everyone needs to play their part from healthcare professionals to employers, law enforcement, friends and family. By allowing those to disclose violence as part of their everyday interactions support can be offered earlier once it has been identified what intervention is required in order to prevent domestic violence escalating to critical levels.

During these enhanced restrictions leaving your home to flee domestic abuse is a lawful reason. No person should have to remain in an unsafe environment or stay living with their abuser . If you know someone who neds help please share these numbers with them.

West Mercia Women’s Aid Helpline- 0800 980 3331

Men’s Advice Line- 0808 801 0327

The Mix (for under 25’s) 0808 808 4994

National LGBT + Domestic Abuse Helpline- 0800 999 5428

At Advocacy Matters we believe in supporting our staff team with this issue.