Tag Archives: 25th November

Togo launches National Electronic Forum on Violence Against Women

On 25th November 2009,  Minister Mainounatou Ibrahima (Minister for Social Affairs and the Promotion of Women)  of Togo took part in an Electronic Forum on Violence Against Women.  This Forum aims to use new and traditional electronic media to inform the general population about violence against women. A National Symposium is also planned so that participants in the Forum can discuss its findings and present their findings to the relevant Ministers.

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Women’s Aid Call for Increased Legal Protection for Women Experiencing Domestic Violence.

At the launch of the 16 Days of Action Campaign outside Dáil Éireann yesterday, Women’s Aid used a striking visual installation to highlight the underside of intimate relationships for one in every five women in Ireland.  Five women, dressed in black and red, held placards reading ‘?’.  The question mark showed that domestic violence, often described as the most democratic of crimes, can affect any woman, and women from any walk of life. The five women were surrounded by others who held placards posing questions like: ‘Is she your sister?’, ‘Is she your mother?’ ‘Is she your friend?’.  Women’s Aid drew attention to the fact that many women are not protected from violence by current domestic violence legislation. 

Speaking at the event, Margaret Martin, Director of Women’s Aid said: “On the UN Day Against Violence against Women, we are highlighting the fact that one in every five women living in Ireland today are living in fear of those closest to them – their boyfriends, husbands and partners.  Domestic violence does not discriminate by age, socio-economic status, marital status or cultural background.  It can affect any woman.”

She continued: “Women’s Aid statistics show that marriage is the most common context for domestic abuse and married women experiencing abuse can avail of the full protection of the law.  However, 28% of women who rang the Women’s Aid Helpline in 2008 disclosed abuse by current or former partners to whom they were not married (18% current partner and 10% former partner).  While many women will meet the strict criteria and are eligible to apply for domestic violence orders, many women who experience domestic violence cannot avail of legal protection from the violence because they do not meet the current co-habitation requirements for domestic violence orders.  This includes women who are in dating relationships, not married to or living with their abuser, and women who have only lived with or have separated from their abuser for certain lengths of time.”

 “Also, we know from women ringing our Helpline that abuse often does not end when the relationship does. 10% of callers to the Women’s Aid Helpline disclosed that they were being abused by former partners to whom they were not married. It is a common belief that leaving an abusive partner will end the violence but in many cases the opposite is true.  These women are very vulnerable.”

One woman who called the helpline recently revealed that she is living in fear of her ex-boyfriend months after she ended the abusive relationship.  According to Karen*: “He was totally controlling and possessive.  I was very frightened of him.  After I told him it was over it just got worse – constant texting, waiting for me after work, following me everywhere I went.  He was threatening me and was physically violent.  People were telling me to go to court and get a safety order to protect myself.  But I found out very quickly that I was not eligible because I had not lived with or been married to Jim.  I was so shocked and angry, I felt really let down. I don’t feel safe anywhere anymore. If I had gotten a safety order at the beginning then Jim would have known that what he was doing to me would have serious consequences for him – that the courts would deal with him.  But now it seems that it is just me, on my own, and that is just the way Jim wants it.  I don’t have any peace.”

Ms Martin concluded: “Domestic violence legislation needs to change to reflect 21st century Irish life and we call for the removal of all cohabitation requirements.  This will ensure that those experiencing domestic violence in dating relationships and after separation will be eligible to apply for domestic violence orders.  Until it does, women like Karen and thousands more like her will continue to live in fear and the law is powerless to protect them.”

*Karen’s story is based on real accounts as told to Women’s Aid.  Specific details and circumstances have been changed in the interest of protecting identity and to preserve the confidential nature of Women’s Aid Services.

The launch of the 16 Days Campaign has been widely covered in the media over the last few days.  We will post a comprehensive look at media coverage tomorrow but here is a short round up in the meantime:

News on Two, RTE 2, 25th November 2009 (11.08 mins)

Many Women Still At Risk of Domestic Violence – The Irish Times, 26th November 2009

Local Coverage of the 16 Days Campaign

Anti-Domestic Violence Campaign Launched, The Longford Leader, Wednesday 25th November 2009

Domestic Violence Highlighted, The Offaly Express, Wednesday 25th November 2009

Tuam’s 16 Days of Action, Western People, Wednesday 25th November 2009

Rugby Star Rob Kearney Backs White Ribbon Campaign, Dundalk Democrat, Wednesday 25th November 2009

This is a great start to the campaign and we will keep you posted of any further coverage.

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Press release form Councillor Mary Mitchell O’Connor

Uncertainty over Children’s Allowance Payment puts some women at greater risk of domestic violence”…. abused women face spectre of turning to loan sharks ….”

Fine Gael Councillor, Mary Mitchell O’Connor has warned that cutting the Children’s Allowance will lead to the further isolation of women who are being abused at home.

Speaking about the launch by Women’s Aid of its ’16 Days of Action – Opposing Violence against Women’,  on 25th November 2009, Councillor Mitchell O’Connor said:

“Violence against women is frighteningly prevalent in Irish society. Women are subjected to unimaginable terrors in their own homes and for that reason I want to publicly state my support for the campaign by Women’s Aid, which runs from 25th November, and is designed to raise public awareness about the violence perpetrated against many women”.

“It is vital that we work to address domestic violence in society, so that ultimately we protect women. The current economic downturn is affecting every facet of Irish life and has resulted in increased incidence of domestic violence and the growing problem of financial abuse.

Financial constraints are often used opportunistically by abusive men as a way of enhancing their control over their partners. Financial abuse, although often overlooked, is a highly effective method of maintaining control; without money, women have little options. As Women’s Aid puts its, financial abuse is designed to lave women with ‘no place to go, no means to get there and no way to provide for one’s own or one’s children’s basic needs’.”

“For many women, the Children’s Allowance is their own source of income. Reducing or removing this altogether will serve only to further isolate abused women and leave them more vulnerable to financial abuse.This is not a class issue. Women are abused irrespective of class so any cuts to the Children’s Allowance will impact.”


“I am personally aware of women who are forced to go to loan sharks because their husbands, often well off individuals, make sure they have no access to money. Such women are essentially prisoners in their own homes.”

“Women generally face impoverishment when they leave their partner. Cutting the Children’s Allowance will only create a further barrier. I don’t think this has been properly thought through”.

“I am not suggesting that the Children’s Allowance is a panacea for the complex problems that result in violence against women but I am scared that women will be put at further risk because of this”.


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Mary Robinson supports the 16 Days Campaign


Women’s Aid is delighted to have the support of former President Mary Robinson for it’s 16 Days Campaign.

“This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the UN Recognition of 25th November as the day for the elimination of violence again women, which begins the annual 16 days of Action Campaign.  Sadly this worldwide campaign is more needed than ever and I support the 16 Facts of Women’s Aid. Last March I travelled from the International Colloquium on Women in Liberia to the DRC, where I saw first hand in Goma the terrible evidence of sexual violence and rape as deliberate forms of warfare.  The recent adoption of the UN Security Council of Resolution 1888, to reinforce Resolutions 1325 and 1820 is timely, as is the appointment of a Special Representative of the Secretary General on Sexual Violence against Women.  Only a huge and sustained bottom up global campaign based on women’s rights and empowerment will put an end to this terrible sexual violence against women in situations of conflict.”

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Secretary Ban Ki-moon’s Statement for the 25th November

“Our goal is clear: an end to these inexcusable crimes – whether it is the use of rape as a weapon of war, domestic violence, sex trafficking, so-called “honour” crimes or female genital mutilation/cutting. We must address the roots of this violence by eradicating discrimination and changing the mindsets that perpetuate it.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon

Message for the International Day  for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

25 November 2009

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Guest blog post by Keely at the Centre for Women’s Global Leadership

With the launch of the 19th annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence on November 25th, information is pouring in from organizations and activists around the world. The Center for Women’s Global Leadership, which coordinates the international campaign each year, has already heard from hundreds of organizations in more than 60 countries! Campaign activities range from marches and rallies to music concerts, information sessions on new legal frameworks for addressing violence against women, blogging marathons, radio broadcasts on community radio stations, art exhibitions, self-care workshops, and much more. We’re thrilled to see all of the events that are being organized across Ireland by Women’s Aid and its partners.

As the coordinator of the campaign at CWGL, it has been incredibly exciting to see how this year’s theme “Commit ▪ Act ▪ Demand” is resonating with so many people in diverse parts of the world. CWGL produces a Take Action Kit based on the theme each year, but participants are encouraged to develop their campaign around the issues that are most relevant in their local context. To read more about what activists are planning in their communities, visit the full International Calendar of Activities or become a fan of the 16 Days Campaign Facebook page.

The idea for the 16 Days Campaign originated at the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute (WGLI) organized in 1991 by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL), where twenty-three women from every region of the world met to discuss women’s leadership and the issue of violence against women as a fundamental violation of human rights. Happily, one of those participants was Monica O’Connor, who was working with Women’s Aid Dublin, so the 16 Days Campaign’s roots in Ireland go all the way back to its birth! While it was unlikely that the first WGLI graduates could have foreseen the incredible success of the campaign as a global mobilizing tool, their dedication to working on this issue exemplifies how every action, no matter how big or small, can make a difference. Now since the first campaign, over 2,800 organizations in 156 countries have participated, and the movement continues to grow.

I’m inspired each day as I read more about what women’s organizations around the world are doing to bring an end to violence against women. The 16 Days Campaign is powerful because it gives us opportunities to work in solidarity with one another, and it provides a period of heightened international attention to gain support for our local efforts. So let’s make sure that the whole world hears our voices this year from November 25 – December 10! Gender-based violence must stop, and we all have a role to play. Together, we must Commit, Act, and Demand an end to violence against women!

Keely Swan – 16 Days Campaign Coordinator

Center for Women’s Global Leadership


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Day 1 of the 16 Days Campaign

Today is Day 1 of the 16 Days Campaign, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and there is a huge variety of things happening around the country:

  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Longford
  • 16 Rights for 16 Days exhibition in Sligo
  • Poster display and lily campaign in Mayo
  • Aoibhneas Refuge’s “Step Out of the Shadows” campaign
  • Galway Rape Crisis Centre’s social media campaign
  • Art and Poetry is on display in Donegal
  • Pavee Point is running a pampering session for staff, and various invited guests
  • “Break the Silence” ceremony and solidarity campaign in Leitrim and Sligo
  • Panel discussion and film screening in Wexford
  • “In Her Shoes” exhibition in Clare, Limerick and Tipperary
  • NUIG Femicide Awareness Campaign in Galway
  • Dundalk Women’s Aid asks “What are you doing about it?”
  • Annual Big Breakfast and Pampering Day in Limerick
  • Pamper morning for women in Blanchardstown
  • Women’s Aid’s campaign begins with a Public Action outside the Dáil Éireann, and the first of the 16 Facts for 16 Days emails

Show your support and get involved in something in your area!

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