This year’s theme for the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and the 16 days of action is UNITE! Here we share the importance of working with partners to effectively, safely and continuously support victims of domestic abuse, sexual violence and stalking.
For 31 years, the United Nations has spearheaded the annual international campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence. Kicking off on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (November 25) and ending on Human Rights Day (December 10), the campaign calls for global action, awareness and activism to end violence against women and girls. This year’s theme is UNITE! – and here at Aurora New Dawn, it’s a concept that underpins everything we do.
Working together to end domestic violence against women and girls
In order to build a better future for survivors of domestic abuse, organisations must work together to end violence against women and girls. Collaboration is not only necessary, but paramount if we want to help them live a life free from fear. From food banks to refuge spaces, the armed forces to police departments, at Aurora New Dawn we work with representatives, advocates and partners from all over to ensure that we can support survivors as much as possible.
“It’s the union between like-minded organisations that makes what we do impactful. We simply couldn’t do it all on our own; we rely on our partners and agencies to help us help women and girls more effectively. We’re fully behind this year’s theme for 16 Days of Activism – we hope it will encourage the many people, companies and charities out there supporting the cause to explore partnerships as a way to leverage their mission,” said Dr Shonagh Dillon, Aurora’s CEO.
How can communities help end domestic violence against women and girls?
Community support and understanding also has an enormous part to play in ending violence against women and girls. Our volunteers and supporters are fundamental in raising much needed funds for our survivors and – especially relevant at this time of year – providing gifts and items that they can then make use of.
We know that the Christmas period can bring a stark rise in cases of violence against women, and even when a survivor leaves an abusive perpetrator, often the abuse doesn’t stop. In fact, around 75% of the women and girls that we support have already left their relationship. Thanks to our incredible community, we are able to provide things such as food vouchers and Christmas gifts that can really help victims as they navigate this enormously stressful period.
Domestic abuse and the cost of living crisis | What are the risks for agencies?
Domestic abuse and the cost-of-living crisis are two phrases that we are likely to hear in tandem more and more in the coming months. We know that perpetrators will use any means possible to increase their levels of power and control, and the difficulties that will likely come with these looming economic challenges.
One in six women in the UK have experienced economic abuse by a current or former partner – and this abuse rarely happens in isolation, normally occurring alongside other forms of domestic abuse. We are approaching a pivotal point. As families struggle with a choice between heating and eating, women can be made to feel economically dependent on their partner, limiting their freedom. Abusers may sabotage their victim’s income and access to money, restrict what they spend it on (and what they own) and exploit their economic situation.
Recently, Aurora formed part of a national statement from the End Violence Against Women Coalition to call for immediate support for those impacted by domestic abuse and inequality, heightened through the cost of living crisis. While we believe this is a step in the right direction, the truth is that we don’t have a solution – but we do know that, now more than ever, we need to unite in raising our voices and breaking down the added barriers stopping women and girls from living lives free from domestic abuse and violence.
Unfortunately, those barriers extend to the agencies supporting women who are being subjected to male violence – and it’s something that organisations large and small need to be aware of.
“As an organisation, we’re still recovering from the increased demand caused by COVID – and now we’re braced for a whole flood of new calls for help. It’s crisis upon crisis and we know that we aren’t alone in this,” said Shonagh.
“Local food banks are on their knees. Refuge spaces are being stretched to their very limit. Charities are struggling and jobs are falling by the wayside. Donations are going – and will continue to go – down. We may not feel the immediate impact right now, but we’re all being pulled in endless directions. We predict that in six months or so, the repercussions will be widespread.”
Which is why continued collaboration matters. Together, we can find ways to navigate this changing and difficult landscape so that support can still be there when women and girls need it most.
How is Aurora New Dawn supporting 16 Days of Activism?
Throughout the 16-day campaign, we will be sharing resources, articles and content centred around the different organisations that we – as a charity – are united with, to help raise awareness of the many different ways people can seek support. Keep an eye on the ‘news’ section of our website and also our social media: and please do help us share this vital message.
If you would like to support the Aurora New Dawn charity and you are able to donate you can do so here:
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