Why focus on men’s violence against women?
People of all genders can experience sexual assault, intimate partner violence and family violence. Violence against any person is always unacceptable.
However, men and women are at greater risk of different types of violence. Men are more at risk of violence from a stranger in a public place, while women are more at risk of violence in their home, from someone they know.
National research shows that approximately one in three women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from a male perpetrator known to them.
Many services and communities focus on preventing men’s violence against women, as the research shows that women experience violence from men at a much higher rate, with greater severity and impacts.
Women are also far more likely to experience ongoing violence, require medical assistance, fear for their lives, and to be murdered.
This is why the 16 Days Activist Challenge focuses on men’s violence against women, and seeks to highlight and share evidence-based information about the factors that are known to cause men’s violence against women and the actions that need to be taken to prevent, and ultimately eliminate this violence.
To read more about the forms and impacts of men’s violence against women and how it can be prevented, please take a look at this reader friendly booklet: Act to Prevent Men’s Violence Against Women: A guide for community action.
What are the 16 days of activism against gender-based violence?
The 16 Days of Activism is an international campaign dedicated to eliminating gender-based violence, in particular, the elimination of violence against women. The campaign is used to raise awareness, undertake advocacy and take action to end violence against women.
The campaign runs from the 25th November (International day for the elimination of violence against women) to the 10th December (International day for Human rights).
This year marks the 25th year of the 16 days campaign, which is now world wide.
What is the 16 Days Activist Challenge?
The 16 Days Activist Challenge, is a campaign to end violence against women led by Women’s Health West, which runs from the 25th November to the 10th December, as part of the international 16 days of activism to eliminate gender-based violence. People across the western region are invited to register for the challenge and become a 16 Days Activist.
What does the 16 Days Activist Challenge involve?
The challenge involves committing to undertake actions to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women during the 16 Days of Activism (25th November – 10th December). When you register, you can pick from a list of actions designed to promote gender equality and prevent violence against women, or you can add your own! You can select actions to match the level of action you are ready to take to end violence against women – you can commit to learn about violence against women, reflect on your role, educate others about the problem, or challenge gender inequality. It’s up to you!
How many actions do I have to do?
As many or as little as you like! You might choose to do just one action for the challenge, or do one every day for the whole 16 days.
Who can participate in the challenge?
If you live, study, work or play in the western region of Melbourne, we would love you to register and participate in the challenge.
Don’t live, work or study in the west? No worries – we would still love you to participate!
How can I get involved in the challenge?
- Easy! If you want to take action to help end violence against women, then register here.
Once you are registered, we will send you a confirmation email of the actions you have selected, and send you some reminders during the campaign to support you along the way!
- Check out our online Activist Kit which has more ideas and promotional materials to support you through the challenge.
- Follow us on Facebook and twitter and share your activist experiences and thoughts with fellow activists doing the challenge!
Can I do the challenge with others?
Absolutely! We encourage you to do the challenge with friends, family members, work mates and team mates. At the registration page, you can register as an individual or you can register as a team with others.
Do campaigns like this really help?
The short answer is yes!
There is no single ‘right way’, or ‘right place’ to take action to prevent violence against women. To end violence against women we need to undertake a range of reinforcing actions across all areas of society. Civil society advocacy and communications campaigns are two ways that have proven effective in helping to end violence against women. Public campaigns, like the 16 Days Activist Challenge, are valuable because they raise awareness, start important conversations in our community, support community advocacy, and in this case, challenge common myths and assumptions about gender and violence against women. These are all crucial factors for change.
That said, campaigns are only one part of the solution required to end violence against women. We wholeheartedly encourage you to expand your activism and continue it, beyond this period.
In fact, we have developed some great tips to support you in doing just that! Check out ways you can keep going here.
What if I know someone who has or is experiencing family violence? Or I need help myself?
If you know someone who has or is experiencing family violence, there are lots of practical things you can do to help. If someone tells you they are being abused, it is important that you take their fears seriously and refer them to support services who can help. It is also important you take care of yourself. There is information here to help you support someone you know who is experiencing family violence, or if you are concerned about someone’s safety please visit the 1800 RESPECT website.
If you are concerned about your own safety and need help or support, then please contact the police on 000. Call 1800 RESPECT (Ph: 1800 737 732) for further support, information and counselling services. You have a right to feel safe and there is support and people who can help you.