To cover up the bruises, she stood before her mirror and dabbed concealer around her eye. Perhaps the makeup could hide the marks on her face, but it could never have saved her from what came next. She turned and saw her son watching her; it was then that she knew she had to break free from her abusive partner, if not for her sake, then for her son’s. She fought a tough battle and, at the end, she was protected from her husband by court order and was granted custody of her son. The father of her son could only visit him under supervision and she was able to keep the location of her home confidential to protect herself. The real problem is, she is not the only one. It is stories like hers that remind us why we should take a stand to prevent violence against women and girls. It is stories like hers that remind us we need to stop the violence. On an annual basis, at least two million women and girls are trafficked into prostitution, forced slavery, and servitude. Up to 60 percent of women experience some form of physical or sexual abuse during their lifetime. Someone had to do something to change their lives. These victims are affected by violence for the rest of their lives, yet some of them manage to find the resources to move forward in their lives.
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Stop the Violence: Why Is the Issue So Important?
All over the world, girls are being subjected to different forms of violence and abuse. Few girls find the courage to speak out and defend themselves. Because every girl has the right to live a violence-free life, she needs to be aware of her rights. Stop the Violence is a global movement to end violence. We need to take action and inspire girls and women to stand up for themselves. The campaign has made positive changes in the lives of girls and women in 145 countries around the world.
– According to the UN, it is estimated that up to six out of ten girls and women globally will face violence or abuse at least once in their lifetime
– Domestic violence is the biggest reason for the injury and death of girls and women between the ages of 15 and 44
– 60 million girls are subject to sexual assault at or on their way to school each year
– It is estimated that 800,000 people are trafficked annually; 80 per cent of those are women and they are mainly trafficked for sexual exploitation
– 150 million girls under the age of 18 were exposed to one form or another of sexual violence
– On a yearly basis, over three million girls suffer the trauma and long-term consequences of female genital mutilation
Despite all of these facts, there are few conversations, little action, and limited investment to bring violence against girls and women to an end. Apart from the fact that many societies do not like to bring such issues to light, many families choose to believe that violence is not likely to take place in their own households. It is an issue that “happens somewhere else,” a “private matter,” or is taboo to challenge.
Young girls are particularly at risk because they are both females and children. They are subject to sexual, physical, and psychological abuse at home, at school, and in their communities. Some societies also practice female genital mutilation against young girls. Violence against girls can also take the form of killing a baby before its birth just because it’s a girl.
What Is the Purpose of “Stop the Violence”?
Violence against girls and women is widespread in all countries around the world. These girls and women who have been subject to one form or another of violence throughout their lives are the ones Stop the Violence aims to help. Stop the Violence is a campaign by the World Association of Girl Guides and Girl Scouts. It aims to reach out to girls in over 100 countries, to their communities, to local and international decision makers, and to public figures. The campaign is about teaching girls and women to talk about any violence they may have faced during their lives, understand its causes, recognize their rights, and develop the skills and confidence to claim those rights for themselves and others. It also seeks to empower girls and young women to be leaders, to speak out, and to take action, so that they become the change they want to see in the world. Stop the Violence has pledged to make a difference in the lives of many girls and women all over the world. A girl or a young woman that understands and asserts her rights is a powerful force for transformation.
The campaign will achieve these goals through raising the awareness of people all over the world, including the lobbying of decision makers and the development of an education curriculum which will be made available across the world. The curriculum will educate girls and young women as well as boys and young men about violence against girls and gender inequality. Its main goal is the development of young people’s skills and confidence so that they can share respectful relationships. The campaign also aims to create safe and equal spaces for young people to discuss violence and seek support.
These educational curricula were distributed to many organizations. Training events will be planned with the purpose of educating participants about gender-based violence and discrimination. Volunteers and young women will be equipped with the knowledge to train others in their own communities.
Stop the Violence: Reaching Out to Men
One of the goals of Stop the Violence campaign is to alter gender stereotypes and reach out to boys and young men to tackle the root causes of violence.
It may be thought that there a lot of campaigns whose main target is to end violence against women; however, this is not true. There are some campaigns that focus on ending a specific type of violence in a specific location, but there are no global campaigns that aim to fight violence in all its forms against girls and young women.
Stop the Violence Campaign: From Success to Success
“Stop the Violence: Speak Out for Girl’s Rights” campaign has been chosen as one of the “Women Deliver 50: the most inspiring ideas and solutions delivering for women.” Such success of the campaign accentuates the significant role of girls and young women in today’s society. These girls and young women can be leaders of change on significant issues such as challenging gender-based violence and creating just and equal societies.
Stop the Violence aims to bring the violence against girls and women to an end. Read more here to be part of their movement. So what if we no one takes a stand for those girls, what do you think their futures will be like?