The 25th of November marks The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, a date recognised by the United Nations. On this day, many organisations and charities organise a women’s march called “Reclaim the Night”. Traditionally, Reclaim the Night began in northern cities such as Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds after the Yorkshire Ripper murdered 13 innocent women. The march and campaign aims to empower women and promote better safety for women at night as no woman should be afraid to walk home alone in the dark.
The 25th of November also marks the start of the UN Women’s campaign of 16 Days Against Gendered Violence. This year – 2021 – the campaign theme is Orange the World. People around the world are encouraged to wear orange as this represents a brighter future for women and young girls around the globe. Cities and towns are encouraged to light up their buildings in towns and cities with orange to commemorate the campaign and support women who have been victims of gendered violence.
The statistics surrounding gendered violence are shocking, with a new report by UN Women showing that 1 in 3 women have been abused within their lifetime. These experiences have been exacerbated by the pandemic and lockdowns, with a report indicating that – based on data from 13 countries since the start of the pandemic – 2 in 3 women reported that they or a woman they know experienced forms of violence, while only 1 in 10 women said that victims would go to the police for help.
The 16 Days Against Gendered Violence campaign aims to prevent and eliminate gender-based violence across the globe. The campaign calls for action to be taken in every country to promote awareness of gendered violence, promote advocacy for victims and empower women to come forward and report their experiences.
At CEL Solicitors we believe that positive change comes from our actions and our culture. To that end, we have previously worked with organisations to help those in need of support – and this year is no different.
We were incredibly lucky to enjoy the company of Tola and Toni from the Amadudu charity recently, both of whom helped inspire and offer guidance on how we as a company can help those in need this holiday season.
Amadudu is “[a] refuge for women and children fleeing domestic violence, prioritising the needs of Black women and children”. They offer temporary accommodation for families, advice on welfare benefits, resettlement, and child issues. They also help to provide access to legal advice, counselling, and interpreters. A truly inspirational and irreplaceable organisation.
Staff at CEL Solicitors developed links with Amadudu as it is just one of the many phenomenal charities benefitting from a Christmas Toy Appeal that we’re involved in. In partnership with Sedulo, who run the Christmas toy appeal, we’re sponsoring the Liverpool-based children, including those living at the refuge.
As a team, we are helping to make sure that no child is left without a gift this holiday season. In the case of the women at the refuge, this is helping the mother’s who’ve fled domestic violence, often with little or no belongings, to give their children a special and memorable Christmas.
We’ve also developed the relationship, spreading joy other times of the year, including doing our own Easter egg appeal. Staff have also gone above and beyond to support families, with one staff member buying football boots for a budding footballer who had outgrown his.
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a pervasive issue in society, with many suffering without support or guidance. Only recently the Liverpool City Region and indeed the country was shaken by the murder of 12-year-old Ava White, while she was out with friends in a popular and busy part of the city centre.
Our society must become safe for women and girls to live their lives without fear.
There is a very long way to go in the effort to eliminate violence against women. While positive initiatives such as those by Amadudu aren’t a one-stop solution – neither do they purport to be. They are, however, an invaluable organisation making an instrumental impact on the lives of others.
For more information on how you can help make a difference in the fight to eliminate violence against women, you can:
– Visit the UN Women website for more information.
– Reach out to charities local to you.