The United Nations General Assembly has designated November 25th as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The United Nations defines violence against women as “any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or mental harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life.”
The premise of this day is to raise awareness of the fact that women around the world are subject to rape, domestic violence and other forms of violence. Worldwide, almost one third (30%) of women who have been in a relationship report that they have experienced some form of physical and/or sexual violence by their intimate partner in their lifetime. As many as 38% of murders of women globally are committed by a male intimate partner.
Intimate partner and sexual violence can lead to many issues for survivors, including:
- Post-traumatic stress
- Anxiety disorders
- Sleep difficulties
- Eating disorders
- Suicide attempts
- Increased smoking, drug and alcohol misuse
- Health effects like headaches, back pain, abdominal pain, gastrointestinal disorders, limited mobility and poor overall health
Effects of Violence Against Women
Due to the rippling effects of intimate partner and sexual violence, women may suffer isolation, inability to work and loss of wages which can be detrimental to their wellbeing. It can also lead to a lack of participation in regular activities and limited ability to care for themselves and their children.
In addition to violence against women having effects on survivors, children who grow up in families where there is violence may suffer a range of behavioral and emotional disturbances. These issues are often associated with perpetrating or experiencing violence later in life.
Advocate for Women
This November 25th, and every day of the year, advocate to make violence against women unacceptable and addressed as a public health problem.
If you are in danger, please contact 911 or the U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or, your local/state hotline.
If you or someone you know is experiencing violence, there are many resources available in the state of Ohio to help, including the Ohio Domestic Violence Network, ACTION OHIO Coalition for Battered Women, and Ohio Alliance to End Sexual Violence. Valuable resources for information about services, programs, legislation, and policies that support survivors of domestic violence, these organizations connect local domestic violence service providers.