16 Days of Action against Gender Based Violence

25 November - 10 December

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CONTENT WARNING: Mentions of types of gender based violence throughout.

The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day. It was started by activists at the inaugural Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991 and continues to be coordinated each year by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

 

 

Day 1, 25 November - Claire Morris, VP Student Development introduces the 16 Days of Action and shares what the campaign means to her. 

Day 2, 26 November - Information about the Anti-Spiking Campaign at Your Union bar spaces

Day 3, 27 November - A celebration of the work of the Women's Aid movement

Day 4, 28 November - Information about the Ask for Angela Campaign at Your Union bar spaces

Day 5, 29 November - A celebration of International Women's Human Rights Defenders Day

Day 6, 30 November - Bite-sized Digital Mental Health Support Workshop from UWS Counselling and Wellbeing Service

Day 7, 1 December - Marking World AIDS day 

Day 8, 2 December - 'I Just Froze' - a public awareness campaign from Rape Crisis Scotland

Day 9, 3 December - 'That Guy' - a new campaign from Police Scotland that aims to reduce rape, serious sexual assault and harassment

Day 10, 4 December - 'White Ribbon Campaign' - a global movement of men and boys working to end male violence against women and girls

Day 11, 5 December - Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect to end gender-based violence

Day 12, 6 December - Hannah Eaton, UWS Student talks about the issues surrounding Disabled people and GBV 

Day 13, 7 December - Raising awareness of Honour Based Abuse

Day 14, 8 December - An introduction to UWS Women's Group

Day 15, 9 December

Day 16, 10 December - Ellie Gomersall, your Union's President closes the 16 Days of Action and shares what the campaign means to her

 

Day 1: Welcome to 16 Days of Action against Gender Based Violence

Thursday 25 November

Claire Morris, VP Student Development introduces the 16 Days of Action and shares what the campaign means to her. 

 

Day 2: Anti-Spiking at Your Union

Friday 26 November

We shouldn’t have to be talking about it, but we are… In response to the recent spiking incidents primarily targeting women in Scotland, UWS Students’ Union would like to advise of our zero-tolerance approach to gender based violence and any form of harassment or aggressive behaviour. Spiking is assault and will not be tolerated by Your Union.

Our venues are here to offer a safe and enjoyable experience to UWS students. The responsibility of safety does not lie with the victims of these attacks. As a Union, we have safety measures and reporting tools in place to support our guests.

If, at any time, you feel unsafe or uncomfortable in a Union space, please speak to a member of staff who are there to support you. We can contact medical help or police on your behalf. We operate the Ask for Angela scheme for incidents where you need to ask for help subtly.

To help you feel safer, we will soon be offering drinks covers and testing kits in our bar areas. Once these arrive, we will let you know and please do not hesitate to ask for these when ordering your drinks.

We would like to reiterate that spiking is a criminal offence, and we will report any incidents to both UWS and Police Scotland. Please be assured that we are doing everything we can to ensure your safety in our buildings. Should you have any concerns, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Find out more on what to do if you or someone you know is spiked at stoptopps.com 

 

Day 3: Women's Aid

Saturday 27 November

Today we are celebrating the Women’s Aid movement. A wonderful example of the power of compassion and support – from women in a small flat providing shelter for families experiencing domestic abuse to the strong organisations running refuges and shaping legislation today.

Watch this short film (30 minutes) capturing the stories and memories of eight women who have been involved in Women’s Aid at different points in its history, as well as with a range of Women’s Aid groups in Scotland. Their stories follow how Women’s Aid has changed during its 40+ year history in Scotland, but also demonstrate that many aspects of Women’s Aid’s work have remained the same: supporting women, children and young people, challenging attitudes around domestic abuse, and campaigning for an end to violence against women.

For more information and support visit Scottish Women's Aid or Women's Aid.

 

Day 4: Ask for Angela

Sunday 28 November

Ask For Angela is a simple code-word campaign for people feeling unsafe on a date, backed by Police Scotland. If you find yourself in a difficult situation and you can’t get out of it, Your Union's bar staff in Paisley and Ayr are trained to offer support discretely when asked for “Angela”.

 

Day 5: International Women's Human Rights Defenders Day

Monday 29 November

International Women Human Rights Defenders Day - when we spotlight how women worldwide are being increasingly attacked for standing up for their rights, for their communities, and for wanting a place at the peace table.

 

Day 6: Bite-sized Digital Mental Health Support Workshop

Tuesday 30 November

The mental health impacts of gender-based violence are devastating. There is an exponential rise in mental illness including depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and suicidal ideation for women who have experienced violence and abuse. SilverCloud is an online mental health and wellbeing platform that can help support you and your mental health virtually. 

Join a bite-sized session on Wednesday 1 December, 1pm - 1.30pm presented by David Blair, one of the Disability Advisers at UWS. In this session, David will talk you through the various different topics and support options available on SilverCloud. Book your free space on Eventbrite using your UWS email address.

 

Day 7: World AIDS day 

Wednesday 1 December

World AIDS Day takes place on 1 December each year. It’s an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV, to show support for people living with HIV, and to commemorate those who have died from an AIDS-related illness. 

People living with HIV face life-changing stigma and discrimination. 

A recent survey showed that one in five people living with HIV have experienced verbal harassment or threats. A third reported having their HIV status disclosed without their consent by someone close to them. One in five reported being treated differently by their GP and many reported pressure at work to disclose their status. 

This impact is significant, 18% of respondents to this survey reported suicidal thoughts within the past 12 months. And 17% of people living with HIV report 'often' skimping on food because of poverty. 

But education is key - and that's precisely what World AIDS Day is for. 

Find out more at www.worldaidsday.org

Online Events Today:

 

Day 8: 'I Just Froze'

Thursday 2 December

'I Just Froze' is a public awareness campaign from Rape Crisis Scotland which aims to challenge and change common misconceptions that there is a right or wrong way for people to react during or after a rape.

Survivors of rape and sexual assault often fear being judged for their behaviour if they were unable to fight back during a rape. This is something that can stop them coming forward to disclose what has happened to friends or family or to someone else who might be able to offer support. They can also worry about being judged in court and this is something that can make them hesitate, delay or even prevent them altogether from reporting the assault to the police. These fears can be a real barrier to survivors’ chances of receiving support or justice after rape, and it’s important that we do everything we can to understand and overcome them.

Get more information on the 'I Just Froze' campaign on Rape Crisis Scotland's website.

 

 

Day 9: 'That Guy'

Friday 3 December

'That Guy' is a new campaign from Police Scotland that aims to reduce rape, serious sexual assault and harassment.

“We welcome the 'That Guy' campaign by Police Scotland. Men can make a difference by changing the way they talk about women and talk to women. Men should not contribute to a culture that targets, minimises, demeans and brutalises women” - Luke Humberstone, VP Welfare and Wellbeing

Day 10: White Ribbon Campaign

Saturday 4 December

The WRC is the largest effort in the world of men working to end men’s violence against women. It relies on volunteer support and financial contributions from individuals and organisations. Take the pledge never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms on White Ribbon Scotland's website

Your VP Education Kevin Migium speaks about the White Ribbon campaign in this short video. 

 

Day 11: Orange the World

Sunday 5 December

Orange is a significant colour for the 16 days of activism as it represents a brighter future, free of violence. UN Women has a target to end gender-based violence by 2030, with this year's global theme being - Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!

Wear orange together with the Women's Liberation Group at Your Union - share your photo with hastags #OrangeTheWorld and #16DaysOfActivism.

Speak out, Orange The World & break the cycle of abuse during 16 Days of Activism!

 

Day 12: Disabled people and GBV

Monday 6 December

  • Women and girls with disabilities are two to five times more likely to be victims of gender-based violence than women and girls without disabilities;
  • 6 out of 10 women with intellectual disabilities report being sexually abused;
  • 34 % of women with a health problem or a disability have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime;
  • Studies have shown that disabled women are twice as likely to experience domestic abuse and are also twice as likely to suffer assault and rape.
  • sterilisation of women with disabilities without their knowledge or consent is a widespread form of violence, in particular affecting members of ethnic minorities such as Roma women

 

Day 13: Honour Based Abuse

Tuesday 7 December

Honour Based Abuse includes practices like forced marriage and FGM. It can be distinguished from other forms of gender-based violence as it is committed with some degree of approval and/or collusion from family or community members or both, in response to perceived immoral/shameful behaviour, which is deemed to have breached the Code of “honour”. It may also be linked to misconceptions about culture and/or religious belief.

Honour based crimes are broad, ranging from threats and intimidation through to kidnap and murder. Worldwide it is estimated that there are 5000 honour killings a year. In the UK, it is believed that figure is approximately 10 to 15 murders a year.  However, the true figure could be much higher when considering that some may be commissioned or planned in the UK, but the act is committed abroad. There's no ‘honour’ in murder or abuse of an individual’s human rights.

In Scotland there are organisations that specialise in supporting women and children who have experienced 'honour based' abuse:

  • Shakti Women’s Aid - 0131 475 2399
  • Hemat Gryffe - 0141 353 0859
  • Scottish Domestic Abuse and Forced Marriage Helpline - 0800 027 1234

In-person event today:

 

Day 14: UWS Women's Group

Wednesday 8 December

UWS Women's Group is the Intersectional Feminism group at the University of the West of Scotland. We believe that feminism must be inclusive and supportive, and we put on events to raise awareness of issues facing women globally, in Scotland, and at UWS.

This society is an inclusive safe space for everyone who identifies with the label "woman", including non-binary people who may also identify with that label. We work closely with other liberation groups and Accessibility to Education UWS to ensure we are always as inclusive and accessible as possible.

Check out this series of posters the Women's Group made to raise awareness of gender-based violence.

Online event today:

 

Day 15: 

Thursday 9 December

Events today:

 

Day 16: Ellie Closes the 16 Days Campaign

Friday 10 December

Ellie Gomersall, your Union's President closes the 16 Days of Action and shares what the campaign means to her

Video coming soon

 

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