How will the ISP mark this event?
In response to International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Women’s Committee of the Independence for Scotland Party decided on an online event, planned for the afternoon of Saturday 15th January 2022, to allow men into the discussion of this challenging topic. It will feature guest speakers who can give a unique perspective on the issue and their ideas for tackling it, men who have experience in this area such as working with other men who harm women, or through direct experience of violence against, or coercive control of, the women in their family. A number of speakers have been confirmed.
A number of reasons have been identified why men offend against women, for example, the need for control, use of alcohol, the proliferation of pornography and increased sexualisation of women and girls.
This event is open to all women and men. You not be a member of any political party or have any interest in politics. It aims to open up the discussion to women and men about what we all believe are the causes of domestic violence and how we can improve things.
Is this type of action still needed?
Very much so. We need to raise awareness of what is happening to women. According to the 2009-18 Femicide Census, on average a woman is killed every 3 days by a man, every 4 days by a current or former partner.
Between 2009 and 2018, 62% of women killed by men (888/1425) were killed by a current or former partner. 34% of women killed had children under 18. 59% of cases had a history of abuse (59/1042) by current or former partners or other male relatives. One third of these had reported it to police.
Of the 888 killed by a partner or former partner, at least 378 (43%) had separated or taken steps to separate from the perpetrator 338 of whom were killed in the first year, 142 in the first month, and 5% (45) were killed 3 or more years after separation.
70% of the killings in shared home of the victim and perpetrator, or victim’s home. 29 of the men (2%) had killed before, and of these 29, 20 had killed women.
16 were committed over 13 years by men who served in or had retired from the police.
During lockdown, there has been a marked increase in domestic abuse, even killings, due to victims being locked up with perpetrators, leading to a marked decrease of up to 20% in the numbers of women self-referring to domestic abuse services. The pressures of lockdown also increased the need for services and highlighted a disparity in the share out of household and childcare chores.
How did it all start?
It all began with the murder on November 25, 1960, of three sisters, Patria Mercedes Mirabal, María Argentina Minerva Mirabal and Antonia María Teresa Mirabal, who were assassinated in the Dominican Republic on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo. They had been active in fighting to end Trujillo’s dictatorship. The date of their murder has been marked as a day protesting against violence against women since 1981, officially endorsed by the United Nations in 1999, and celebrated on November 25th annually since the year 2000.
Each year a particular theme is marked, and has been celebrated on November 25th each year since 2000. This year’s theme is ‘ORANGE the World: fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect!’ overarching 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence. There is an ongoing general campaign of Say NO to Violence Against Women.
Events are coordinated by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM). The letters ‘UN’ are in blue, and ‘IFEM’ are in darker blue. The logo contains a dove and olive branches, plus the sign for women (a ring on top of a + sign).