“Overcoming abuse doesn’t just happen, It takes positive steps every day. Let today be the day you start to move forward.” – Assunta Harris.
Trigger Warning: Sexual violence, rape, verbal abuse, domestic abuse, human trafficking.
End of Violence against Women Day is celebrated every year on November 25th. Violence against girls and women is widespread. Women are mistreated irrespective of their age, cultural or racial background. One of the worst things to know is that violence is one of the most persistent, devastating, and widespread violations of human rights today.
It is shocking to know that various cases go unreported due to the stigma, immunity, shame, and silence surrounding violence against women. The awful thing is that most women don’t even know they are going through abuse. Women who are abused by their perpetrators remain quiet due to the fear of being harmed or further abused.
According to UNICEF, some of the most common types of violence against women are;
- Intimate violence of partners (marital rape, battering, femicide, psychological abuse)
- Harassment and sexual violence (sexual acts, child abuse, cyber-bullying, forced sexual acts, street harassment)
- Human trafficking (sexual exploitation, slavery)
- Genital mutilation of females
- Child Marriage
How Alvis is Helping Women Who Face Violence
Apart from Alvis’s other impactful programs, the recovery housing programs are for the women who had suffered trauma, abuse and/or drug addiction. It is a program for women to stay safe in a trustworthy environment, without the fear of being attacked or kidnapped by their predators. We provide holistic treatment therapy to help them heal. We remind them that no matter how traumatic their pasts might have been, they matter, and they are loved. It is a societal notion set up in our community members’ minds that domestic or sexual abuse only occurs in poor and underprivileged communities. When that is not true at all.
Abuse can happen anywhere, whether it is in a poor community or a wealthy state. Sexual and domestic abuse is real. It might happen to someone close to you or to someone you know. It is essential to recognize the signs of abuse and help those who cannot help themselves by becoming a voice for the voiceless and lending a helping hand to those who cannot get out from the dangerous situation of domestic abuse, sexual abuse, and human trafficking.
As Patty Rase Hopson once said, “Abuse changes your life…Fight Back and change the life of your abusers by Breaking Your Silence on Abuse.” On this eradication of violence against women day, make a promise to yourself to speak up about the unjust happenings and the abuse happening worldwide or in your community. At Alvis, we work to provide a safe living space for these victims and give them time and a safe space to recover.
Why should you Speak Up for Violence Against Women?
According to the United Nations;
- Sexual violence or physical violence is experienced by 1 in 3 women in their lifetimes, most commonly by their intimate partners.
- Only 52% of women in a union or those who are married decide sexual intimacy by their own free will.
- Almost 750 million females are married all around the globe before they turn 18 years old, while 200 million females have suffered from the trauma of female genital mutilation (FGM).
- In 2017, 1 in 2 females were killed by their family or partners.
- The victims of human trafficking worldwide are 71% of girls and women. Whereas, 3 out of 4 of these women suffer from sexual exploitation.
- Violence can cause kill a person, and it is more severe than traffic accidents and malaria.
According to the World Health Organization, women who go through any kind of violence are more likely to suffer from a lot of health consequences such as;
- Dangerous outcomes, such as suicide or homicide.
- Injuries, physical and emotional.
- If gone through sexual violence, women are more likely to suffer from gynecological problems and infections that are transmitted through forced sexual acts.
- Various effects on one’s health might include back pain, gastrointestinal disorders, headaches, poor health, and limited mobility.
- If a woman faces sexual violence at a young age, it is common for her to suffer from alcohol and substance abuse.
Impact on Children
It is highly likely when a woman faces violence and goes through its negative consequences, her child will suffer from those negative consequences as well.
How to Prevent Violence Against Women:
There are several ways in which you can prevent violence against women. Some of them are as follows:
- Educate yourself regarding the different types of violence that women face, irrespective of their cultural, racial, or religious background.
- Acknowledge the fact that it is happening within your community and try to help any woman in your life, in your friend circle, or in your neighborhood who might be struggling.
- Have courage and speak up on behalf of all those women who have lost their dignity and voice from the things they have been through.
- Encourage your friends to speak on behalf of sexual violence victims to bring more awareness to this subject.
- Make a report if you witness someone getting violated or harassed at school or your workplace.
- Advocate for the rights of victims in your community, neighborhood, or family.
- Stop yourself or your friends from taking advantage of any individual who might be intoxicated by drugs or alcohol.
- Respect the victims who come from diverse backgrounds.
Do you wish to make a difference in someone’s life, no matter how small it might be? Help our community turning their lives around #180degreeimpact. Donate and/or volunteer with us. We need you! Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alvis is a nonprofit human services agency with over 50 years of experience. We believe in the power of second chances and coming together as one community to affect change. With our reentry, behavioral health, developmental disabilities, workforce development, family and children’s services, and the community, we can make a lasting 180 impact. Learn more about Alvis and how you can get involved.
Blog post opinion piece written by Eman Khalid