Around the world at least one woman in three has been beaten, raped, violently attacked, coerced into sex, or otherwise abused. Most often the abuser is a member of her own family. Increasingly, gender-based violence is recognized as a major public health concern and a violation of human rights.
Most forms of violence are not unique incidents but are ongoing and can even continue for decades. Because of the sensitivity of the subject, violence is almost universally under-reported. Nevertheless, the prevalence of such violence suggests that globally, millions of women are experiencing violence or living with its consequences.
November 25th was declared as a day to combat and raise awareness of violence against women and to highlight that the scale and true nature of the issue is often hidden. This date was selected to honour the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic who were brutally murdered in 1960 by order of the country’s dictator, Rafael Trujillo (1930-1961).
Actually, November 25th (International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women) is the beginning of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. This international campaign runs through until December 10 (World Human Rights Day). During these 16 days, organizations around the world will encourage people to reflect on what they can do in their own communities and in their own lives to eliminate the disproportionate violence faced by women and girls.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is also a day to remember the missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Indigenous peoples, LGBTQ2+ communities, persons with disabilities, newcomers, as well as people of every age that have been victims of violence.
If you are affected by family violence, know someone who is, or simply want to learn more, visit https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/health-promotion/stop-family-violence.html to help you be safe or to be part of the solution.
Human Rights Committee