Every year on the 25th of November, the world marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. But why this specific date? The answer lies in a tragic event that sparked an international movement. On 25th November 1960, the Mirabal sisters, three political activists from the Dominican Republic, were brutally murdered on orders of the country’s ruler, Rafael Trujillo. Since 1981, women’s rights activists have used this date to raise awareness of gender-based violence and campaign for its end. This day serves as a stark reminder of the violence many women and individuals who identify as women still face, even in the year 2023.
Let’s look at statistics
49 countries currently have no laws protecting women from domestic violence. 37 countries worldwide still exempt rape perpetrators from prosecution if they are married to or eventually marry the victim. And only two-thirds of countries have outlawed domestic violence. These figures paint a grim picture of the global state of affairs when it comes to violence against women.
Expect Respect at Kent
Every individual, irrespective of their gender, deserves to feel safe on campus. In light of this, here at the University of Kent we have a clear and strong message: we do not accept any forms of violence or abuse. But this commitment isn’t just a hollow promise. We believe that everyone has the power to do something about unacceptable behaviour.
Even if you’re not directly involved, if you witness any lack of respect, bullying, or abuse, you have a choice. You can call out the behaviour and report it. We believe that everyone’s voice matters and everyone can contribute to building a safer community.
If you see abusive behaviour, call it out
If you wish to report any incidents, the ‘REPORT + SUPPORT’ is our confidential online reporting tool. You can report and get advice about sexual misconduct and abuse, domestic abuse and stalking, physical and verbal abuse, spiking, harassment or bullying, discrimination or hate incidents. You can choose to report anonymously or get support from an adviser. If you wish to submit a report, provide details for our team to follow up on, or simply learn more, visit the Report and Support webpage. It’s a step towards taking control, getting support, and building a safer community.
Upcoming support events
To mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, we have organised the following events:
- At Kent Sport on 7 Dec at midday there is a free self-defence class available for all students who identify as women, and non binary people.
- There are also giveaways taking place on 28 November and 6 December in Medway. At the giveaways you can get free torches, gadgets to prevent drink spiking, condoms and more. There will also be specialist wellbeing advisers to talk through questions or concerns, or find out more about reporting issues.
Want to learn more about the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women? You can navigate to the dedicated United Nations page to find out more about the scale of the problem and the initiatives that aim to pave the way towards a world free of gender-based violence.