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Working together to end domestic violence and abuse.

When I was asked whether I could start Calan DVS’s 16 Days of Activism campaign with my ‘A day in life of’ I have to admit I thought, how on earth am I going to be able to write on one page what a day for a CEO of a Domestic Abuse charity looks like? No two days are the same, and how would I possibly fit it onto one page?

So I have to be frank, I decided not to, I decided instead that I would use my opportunity to talk about the 16 Days of Activism around International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Because essentially the majority of what Calan DVS, and hence, I, do on a daily basis is focussed around this one, seemingly never ending issue.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on November 25th, seeks to raise awareness of an issue, we at Calan, are extremely familiar with. Violence Against Women and Girls is undeniably one of the greatest human rights issues in the world today, whilst this is seemingly a bold statement, none the less its true. The facts speak for themselves…for those less acquainted with the issues here are some of the intolerable facts…

A recent report from the UN Secretary General stated that 19 per cent of women between 15 and 49 years of age said they had experienced physical and/or sexual violence by an intimate partner in the past 12 months. In 2012, almost half of all women who were victims of
intentional homicide worldwide were killed by an intimate partner or family member, making this issue the leading killer of women worldwide.

Those of us who work in this field know these stats, and many many, more, but at times it pays everyone to stop and really think about what this means and the impact this issue has on those around us. Whether you are a girl growing up in a world where you are very likely to become a victim of sexual assault or physical abuse, A woman experiencing this first hand, or a man who sees this happening to his mother, sister or daughter, this is the world we live in. And it has to stop!

In 2018, we would like to think that we have come a long way as a society, but the facts speak for themselves, we haven’t done enough. The level of violence and abuse experienced by all women in everyday surroundings has come to the fore in the last year with the rise of the #Metoo and #Timesup campaigns. These issues are finally being talked about, victims across the world are finding their voices, and long may this continue. But the key word here is ELIMINATION! We all have a part to play in ensuring that the next generation of girls grow up in a world where they don’t have to be scared they will become victims, or are hardened to the fact that they will. Schoolgirls shouldn’t be exposed to assault and harassment, and they shouldn’t grow into women who are hit, controlled and coerced by people around them. And that means we all have to say NO MORE!

And that is what the 16 days of activism is all about, ending impunity, stigma and silence around these issues to finally eliminate violence against women and girls in all it’s forms, for good, something we should all be proud to sign up to.

Over the next 16 days Calan DVS’ staff will be posting their ‘day in the life of’ blogs to talk more about what is we are doing to contribute, day in day out, 24 hrs a day, 365 days a year. Our services don’t ever close, because our work never stops. And I hope you find it interesting, inspiring and educational, you will hear from our staff what it is we are doing, but I will leave you with the question, what is it that you are doing?