This week marks the start of the annual, global Sixteen Days campaign (25 November – 10 December) when organisations across the world campaign to end violence against women.
The human rights of women are eroded when they live with any form of violence. As towns and cities up and down the country prepare to mark Sixteen Days in their own way, Glasgow is calling out to residents to remind them of the support available 24/7 for women suffering abuse via a radio campaign organised by the Glasgow Violence Against Women Partnership (GVAWP).
The GVAWP is a city-wide multi-agency group made up of statutory and voluntary organisations with a role in tackling violence against women and girls. Every year it supports the Sixteen Days campaign by co-ordinating local activities to heighten awareness and challenge unacceptable behaviour.
Due to COVID-19 this year’s focus is on reaching out to the women, children and young people living in fear because of abuse or violence, to let them know help is here, they are not alone – support is available.
Through the work of the GVAWP, frontline organisations have been able to extend telephone helplines and online services as a way of engaging with women and girls during the pandemic. Services in the third and voluntary sectors continue to work incredibly hard to make sure support and advocacy services are available to women, children and young people when they need them.
Councillor Jen Layden, Chair of the GVAWP and City Convener for Community Empowerment, Equalities and Human Rights, said: “Every year the Sixteen Days campaign highlights the real impacts of violence against women, and the role we all play in stopping this – it is also an opportunity for us to reach out to women to let them know that they are not alone and that help is available.
“This is even more important this year given the long-lasting impact of the pandemic and lockdown. I want to thank staff and partners within Glasgow who have been providing much needed services for women and children experiencing violence.”
The global campaign deliberately spans from 25 November to 10 December to include significant events.
The first day (25 November) is the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and will finish on International Human Rights Day (10 December).
It takes in World Aids Day on 1 December which raises awareness of the number of women and children raped in conflict and infected with HIV.
The 6 December is the date in 1989 when 14 engineering students were shot and killed because they were women studying ‘a man’s job’. The massacre at the University of Montreal led to the creation of the White Ribbon movement and the White Ribbon is now the symbol of support for women’s equality.
Glasgow was awarded White Ribbon City status in 2016 in recognition of the work being done to tackle violence against women.
ASSIST – a specialised support service linked to Glasgow’s Domestic Abuse Court and focusses on reducing the risk to and improving the safety of victims of domestic abuse. ASSIST aims to ensure that all survivors of domestic abuse, women, children and men, are safe, informed and supported throughout their involvement with the criminal justice system.
Routes Out – Routes Out offers a wide range of services to women involved in prostitution or those considering it. Routes Out main concern is for women’s safety and can offer harm reduction supplies and practical advice.
Trafficking Awareness Raising Alliance (TARA) – provides support to women aged 18 or over who have been trafficked in Scotland for commercial sexual exploitation.
For the full range of services visit http://www.glasgow.gov.