Taking a stand against interpersonal violence
As a community, we’re coming together to advocate against, prevent, and respond to this type of violence.
To kick off the 16 days of activism, we want to highlight people who make a difference in our community.
Lately, we’ve been having a lot of discussions about what it takes to create social change in our community. Advocacy is often the first step. That’s why we wanted our first talking point to be what it takes to advocate for change.
We’ve hosted a series of community-driven facilitated discussions. These discussions bring us together to explore ways each of us can be part of the solution.
2 of the key ideas that came up were:
1. Change starts with us, use your voice
If each of us does our part individually, we can make a difference collectively.
If you get an opportunity to talk about this issue. Use it. If someone says something inappropriate, question it. Day-to-day conversations can start a ripple effect and impact people’s lives.
We don’t need to stay silent in the face of injustice, even though it can be hard to speak up sometimes. (But of course, only speak up if it’s safe for you to do so).
When we speak up, we hold ourselves accountable for being part of the solution. And, help hold the people we love accountable as well.
2. Lead by example, support survivors
Gender-based and interpersonal violence is much more common than we might realize. The World Health Organization reports that 37.7% of women in South East Asia experience some form of intimate partner violence. That’s 1 in 3 women.
If someone you know shares an experience of gender-based violence, such as sexual harassment or assault, with you. Believe them. One of the most difficult things for survivors is they are often asked questions that make it seem like they are at fault for what happened.
For example, asking if they were drinking or what they were wearing. This is called victim-blaming. It causes a lot of pain and feelings of shame. Making it hard for people to want to come forward and share their stories.
We see examples of this in the media often. Particularly when sexual assault cases are discussed. For example, most recently the underwear a woman was wearing was been used as a defense in court to imply consent. They took what she was wearing and used it justify rape. No piece of clothing can give consent. Consent needs to be communicated actively and without coercion.
Challenging statements that blame a survivor for their assault, is one way you can make a difference.
It’s easy to underestimate the power of the individual, but it really does start with us.
10 Advocates for Change in our Community
Today, we wanted to share 10 women who are creating change in our communities and workplaces.
We asked each of them why this issue is important to them and what they think each of us can do about it. Here’s what they said:
On creating change
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