Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. It marks the beginning of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, which runs until International Human Rights Day, on the 10th December 2022.
This year's theme is “UNITE! Activism to end violence against women and girls.”
Violence against women does not mean just physical violence. It is much broader and includes sexual, emotional, psychological and financial abuse.
On a global level, the United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women provides the following definition:
‘The term violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.’
This year, to mark the campaign, WCS is launching More Than My Story: Client Voices, a new project that aims to raise awareness and help women heal after the trauma of domestic and family violence.
It will do this by providing a platform to share their own lived experience in a safe way, allowing them to advocate in their own words against violence and abuse.
Women’s Community Shelters is opposed to all forms of violence and today WCS invites you to UNITE! behind the incredibly brave women, Donna, Lara and *Mina, who share their stories in order to raise awareness and help other women experiencing abuse. Watch, read and listen to their stories on the WCS website.
Across Australia, the primary presenting cause for women’s homelessness is domestic and family violence, and the stories above are just three examples of the hundreds of women who journey through the WCS shelter network.
Each year, WCS supports more than 300 women and children escaping domestic and family violence, and with your help WCS could do more.
Unite! with WCS and help end violence against women and children today!
If you or anyone you know is in need of assistance please use the contacts below:
National Sexual Assault, Domestic Family Violence Counselling Service:
1800 737 732
NSW Domestic Violence Crisis Line: 1800 65 64 63
NSW Link2Home Crisis Accommodation and Referrals: 1800 152 152
Lifeline Australia: 13 11 14
IF YOU ARE IN AN EMERGENCY, CALL 000
Women's Community Shelters works with local communities to create an Australia where all women and children are safe, secure, supported and equal.
Women's Community Shelters (WCS) acknowledges the traditional custodians of the many lands on which we live and work across New South Wales. Our Shelter Network is located on several First Nation lands including Gadigal; Dharug; Dharawal; Worimi; Bidigal; Gayemegal; Darkinyung; Guringai; Cammeraygal and Wallumedegal.
WCS pays respect to Elders both past and present, and to those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients, experts and organisations who walk alongside WCS as they work to protect women and children. WCS acknowledges that homelessness and domestic and family violence are both experienced disproportionately by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
WCS acknowledges the strength, resilience and wisdom of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and celebrate their ongoing custodianship of this beautiful country which always was, and always will be, Aboriginal land.
*Mina's story is a composite, highlighting issues faced by many women who stay and are supported by Women's Community Shelters.