November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, which was proclaimed in 1999 by the United Nations General Assembly. On this day in 1960, Patria, Minerva and María Teresa Mirabal were murdered under the direction of Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo, because they were women activists who were fighting for their rights. The theme this year is "Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!"; the colour orange was chosen because it represents "a brighter future" without violence against women and girls.
Unfortunately, during the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women and girls increased, and in particular, intimate partner/domestic violence rose. Violence against women and girls is one of the most prevalent worldwide human rights violations. Unfortunately, it is also under-reported because it is so stigmatized.
Violence against women includes intimate partner or domestic violence (physical, sexual and psychological abuse), sexual violence, harassment (rape, sexual harassment, stalking, and forced marriage), human trafficking, female genital mutilation, and child marriage. Women and girls who experience violence also have their mental, physical and sexual health negatively impacted. Women who identify as lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or intersex, newcomers, refugees, visible minorities, and women who have disabilities are more likely to experience gender-based violence. Young girls and older women are also at a higher risk.
If you or someone you know is experiencing or has experienced gender-based violence, help is available, please contact one of the following agencies:
- Women's Support Network of York Region
- Community Legal Clinic of York Region
- Yellow Brick House
- Sandgate Women's Shelter of York Region
- Women's Centre of York Region
We also have programs periodically with our partners, Women's Support Network of York Region (WSN) and Community Legal Clinic of York Region (CLCYR), which you can register for on MPL's events page. Here is a video of our program with CLCYR: Legal Options for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence.
For further reading, we have prepared a reading list here:
November 25th is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Violence against women is one of the most widespread Human Rights violations in the world. Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, violence against women, in particular domestic or intimate partner violence, has increased. Please take a look at our reading list to find out more about violence against women, how to recognize it and what to do if you are experiencing it.