GSD Support Campaign to end Violence Against Women & Girls and all forms of Domestic Violence
The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that runs until Human Rights Day on 10 December. The GSD are firmly committed to the elimination of violence against women and to doing everything possible to combat domestic violence within our community.
Atrish Sanchez of the GSD Executive said: “Although we are acutely aware that domestic violence is not exclusive to women, the reality is that violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating violations in our world today and remains largely unreported due to the impunity, silence, stigma, and shame surrounding it.”
According to the World Health Organisation, approximately one out of every three women around the world has either suffered from an act of intimate partner violence, sexual violence from someone other than a partner, or both. Domestic violence (or intimate partner violence) accounts for a large part of this violence against women.
There is a direct and significant correlation between a country’s gender equality rates and their levels of domesticviolence, with countries enjoying less gender equality experiencing higher levels of domestic abuse. The GSD is fully committed to eliminating violence against women and ensuring that more is done to achieve gender equality in our community.
Ms Sanchez added: “It is also essential for a holistic and integrated approach to be taken on this issue, which is ready to tackle all forms of domestic violence from the onset. Early identification measures, support mechanisms for victims and their families, resources for our professionals on the ground and tougher sentencing for offenders are all amongst the tools that are needed for a programme that is designed to have an effect. Unfortunately, we have witnessed high profile intimate partner violence cases which have resulted in tragedies for the victims and their families. We must do more to stop this from happening again. We must go further to improve the programmes that we put in place to break the cycle of abuse, which not only has a devastating, and sometimes tragic effect for the victim, but also traumatic effects for the entire family unit. Children who live in a household with violence often show psychological problems from an early age, such as avoidance, dysregulated aggression, traumatization, and a plethora of other issues which can manifest in different ways. It is imperative that more is done to support all those affected by this type of abuse.
We must find ways to change social norms, to empower victims so they will speak up, to further prevent, mitigate and to respond to this type of violence and abuse. We must find ways to do these things beyond these 16 days. We must find ways to do these things all throughout the year to work towards a Gibraltar that is free from this type of violence and abuse.”