This is a guest post by Sian Norris.
Did you know that 25th November is the UN International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women?
To mark the date, we’re asking the media to dedicate ONE day for every week of November to report the terrifyingly high levels of violence against women and girls in the UK and around the world.
We ask you to dedicate a small space in your reporting once a week throughout November to say the following:
“It is estimated that this week in the UK 1.5 women have died as a result of domestic violence. A further 500 women who have experienced domestic violence in the last six months will commit suicide this year. Every minute in the UK the police will receive a call from a member of the public relating to domestic violence, resulting in over 570,000 calls each year. Domestic violence has the highest repeat rate of any crime and approximately 77% of domestic violence victims are women. An estimated 100,000 women in the UK will be raped every year, yet the conviction rate relating to reported attacks remains at only 6.5%. Rape is recognised internationally as a form of torture and weapon of war, and 1 in 3 women across the world will be raped or sexually assaulted in their lifetime. An estimated 6500 girls in the UK are at risk of FGM.”
The level of violence against women and girls is news. The levels of rape, of abuse, of murder. But it generally isn’t reported as news, precisely because it is so common. When it is reported, it is framed around ideas of provocation or a ‘crime of passion’, or the victim is painted as somehow to blame.
There are many ways in which this information could be incorporated into your reporting. You could report the whole paragraph, once a week throughout November. For 2 weeks you could report the domestic violence statistics, and then dedicate 2 weeks to reporting about rape. You could dedicate the 25th November to the issue of violence against women and girls, running a comprehensive feature on the subject.
Alternatively, you could spend time each week focusing on specific forms of violence against women and girls, including rape, domestic violence and female genital mutilation.
We need to spread the message that violence against women and girls is everywhere, and needs to be stopped.
We need to emphasise the message that a victim of violence is never to blame.
We need to enforce the reality that the only person at fault is the perpetrator.
Amnesty International has called violence against women and girls one of the greatest human rights violations of our time. We ask you, for the month of November, to join us in condemning this epidemic of violence, and to call for its end.
(Edited to reformat HTML in links to staistics sources)