This October marks Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Domestic violence is one of the most hidden and underreported issues in societies all over the world.
Domestic violence is violence, abuse, or intimidation between people in an intimate* relationship, where the perpetrator* uses violence to control the other person. It causes fear and physical or psychological harm in the victim and is a violation of human rights.
According to the World Health Organization, 1 in 3 women in the world have experienced physical and/or sexual partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime. One-third of women say that they have experienced physical or sexual violence by a partner in their lifetime. In the world, almost 38% of murders of women are committed* by a male partner.
These statistics show us the horrifying reality of domestic violence, and the pressing need to speak up and learn more about this issue that affects so many around the world.
Here are five inspiring campaigns from different countries that raise awareness on domestic violence and the tips each campaign offers to those suffering from domestic violence or friends and family who know someone who is going through this.
America: Coalition Against Battered Women
Domestic violence is a cycle. It rarely goes away easily. The three stages of this cycle of violence are the tension-building phase, explosion, and the honeymoon stage. Unfortunately, this cycle often starts over again and the perpetrator returns to his violent ways. This American domestic violence campaign video by the Coalition Against Battered Women shows the sad reality of this cycle.
India: Bell Bajao! (Ring the Bell!) Campaign
This campaign reminds witnesses of domestic violence to ‘ring the bell,’ meaning “to take action ago challenge violence or discrimination against women wherever you may see it or have the power to make change”. Speaking up when you see domestic violence is crucial, either by intervening directly or reaching out to authorities or organizations. In this video, a software engineer hears a man beating his wife in their apartment and rings the bell to intervene.
United Kingdom: Women’s Aid
Actress Keira Knightley stars in this video as a victim of domestic abuse to raise awareness of the deaths caused from this violence. To spread awareness of domestic violence this month and help anyone you know who you suspect of going through violence, understanding how domestic violence works is critical.
This powerful film of friends and family attacking a victim of domestic violence shows how their silence hurts the victim. Don’t ignore someone experiencing domestic violence. Listen, support, and believe them, and make sure they know it is not their fault. Check up with them to make sure they are okay.
Australia: White Ribbon
This campaign video shows three steps in fighting domestic violence: first, safely challenge the behavior, second, talk to your mates, and third, stand up, speak out, and act, The best way to fight against domestic violence is spreading awareness to friends, family, and neighbors, so go out there and share the information during this Domestic Violence Awareness Month!
Help them get advice and support by calling La Strada Ukraine’s hotline at 0 800 500 335 / 116 123 or visiting their website.
Underreport: fail to report on the news fully
Commit: carry out, do
Intimate: private and personal
Perpetrator: a person who does an immoral or violent act
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Yuri Nesen is a student at Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Washington, D.C. studying Global Business, Diplomatic Studies, and Arabic. He enjoys watching animated movies, running and exploring new places, and he is a complete dessert fanatic.
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