The international campaign 16 days Opposing violence against Women is a critical opportunity for a broad and varied range of activists throughout our communities to raise awareness on this serious and often hidden issue of violence against women. Groups from all over Ireland and from countries all over the world stand united during this campaign period running from the 25th of November to the 10th of December every year, to highlight violence against women and to send a strong message out to our communities that this is not acceptable, that women and children have a right to live lives free from violence and abuse and fear within their own homes and families. That is the vision that we share.
From the previous days blogs you can see that domestic violence remains all too pervasive in women’s and children’s lives in Ireland currently. Its’ impacts are serious and can be fatal, and women and children from all walks of life may be affected. Domestic violence is recognised as a gender based violence and as we work in Ireland towards greater equality for women we cannot ignore the role that violence against women plays in maintaining inequality for women. Domestic violence and its’ effects on women and children are relevant to so many organisations as they do their daily work, such as the maternity services, migrant rights organisations, children’s rights organisations, homeless charities and many many more community voluntary and statutory organisations encounter the issue as a cross cutting issue amongst the women and children they support. The range of organisations that come together around this campaign echoes the enormity of the impacts experienced by women and children living with or surviving domestic violence.
The courage and activism of all the organisations and individuals lending their voice to the campaign is essential in breaking the silence and in supporting victims to reach out for the help they need and deserve. We are honoured at this time of year, to engage in this collective conversation opposing violence against women and to break down the isolation within which such violence thrives.
For all of you who have participated over the years in this campaign we would like to say thank you and to share some of your awareness raising activities for inspiration for other future community and organisational activities.