Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a day recognized by the United Nations for over 30 years. We know that violence still continues to affect us all, including the young and old, rich and poor, female and male. For many, the task of stopping violence against women seems impossible. Where can one begin? We say: by taking smalls steps.
There are so many ways you can help. The World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts is sharing it’s Stop the Violence Campaign message loud and clear. Today, they are asking us to participate in the ‘16 Days to Make Girls Heard‘ campaign. They also provide numerous other ways we can all take action.
Here are some small steps shared with us on twitter by some of our online friends:
At the Girl Guides of Canada National office, we all feel very passionate about this topic too, after all, we participate daily in the administration of the volunteer managed ‘girl greatness’ machine! And so we couldn’t ask you to commit to one small step towards stopping violence against women, without making our own personal commitments! Here is what we had to say:
When I hear a sexist “joke” I will let people know why it isn’t funny and how it damages women and girls. — Jacqueline. Girl Programs
Explain to my daughter that any form of violence is not acceptable even if a boy says ‘it was just a game’. — Talya. Marketing and Communications
I commit to loving-kindness meditation. — Anne.
Raise awareness about the sheer prevalence of violence against girls and women – both at home and abroad – and how none of us are disconnected from its impact, no matter how far away it may seem. -– Myna. Girl Programs
Tell my friends, both male and female, to watch the company they keep to avoid being dragged into potentially dangerous/violent situations.
— Christine. Marketing and Communications
Volunteer at a women’s shelter or other organizations that helps survivors or works to prevent violence against women like Amnesty International.
— Aliya. Cookie Department
I will share with my friend that violence isn’t only physical, that verbal abuse is a form of violence as well and she doesn’t have to accept the verbal abuse dished out by her partner. — Heather. Executive Suite
Teach my kids that everyone should be treated with respect, courtesy and kindness. — Nisha. Marketing and Communications
I will explain to my son that when a woman or girl is walking home alone when it’s dark out, he should not come up close behind them to pass, but walk on the other side of the street to give the woman or girl the feeling of safety. — Andrea.
I will teach my 2 sons that any form of violence with words, weapons or fists is not acceptable to anyone, at any age. — Pat. Merchandising
Women are human beings and any form of violence against them should be stopped! I will bring up the topic on our next coffee hour session where I meet a group of ladies in my community. Just thinking about it, I can already hear their voices talking about this topic. — Yolanda.
When my twin son and daughter are getting a little too silly and a little too loud together, I’m just going to let it go. Because a strong brother-sister relationship will help them support each other as young adults and know the inherent value of healthy relationships. — Mary. Communications
To make a donation to a local women’s shelter so that women and children continue to have a safe place to go when they choose to leave violent homes
I will support the white ribbon campaign. — Linda.
Continue dialogues with my young adult son to never commit violence against women. — Patti. Executive Suite
We help create norms – the more we enable the unacceptable, the more it becomes acceptable. When I was younger, I shared in humour that demeaned women – that demeaned me (I am a woman). I now let others know that I value myself and other women, by refusing to laugh at these types of jokes.
— D. Adult Member Support Department
Violence against women can take so many forms beyond obvious physical abuse. Violence includes psychological or emotional abuse, verbal abuse, mistreatment and neglect, and any woman, of any age, can be a victim. I commit to ensuring my daughter and her friends understand that none of these behaviours are acceptable, ever, and to believe in themselves enough to speak up and bring this issue out in the open. It’s the only way it can, and will be stopped. — Margaret.
I spread the message about NO MEANS NO to as many of my little sisters out there as I possibly can. — Anita. Finance Department.
A list of Girl Guide programs that educate girls and women on healthy relationships and anti-bullying activities.
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls in all parts of the world.
YWCA’s Rose Campaign to end violence against women and girls takes its name from the rose button created after 14 young women were murdered on December 6, 1989 and commemorates December 6 as Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.
Watch and share WAGGG’s Stop the Violence video:
What small step can you take to stop the violence?