16 Days of Action to End Gender-Based Violence takes place from the 25th November-10th December. In this blog, we will outline what 16 Days of Action is and Touchstone’s plan to raise awareness of domestic abuse and violence during this time. 

Please note: some of the content below may be difficult to read – please do take care. The article also contains information on where you can get support.

What is the 16 Days of Action Campaign?

The Global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to end violence against women and people of marginalized genders. The purpose of the campaign is to organise people around the world to work towards the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence.

The campaign starts on November 25th, International Day to End Violence Against Women, and ends on the 10th December, International Human Rights Day, to make it clear that gender-based violence is always a violation of human rights. The 16 days of the campaign also cover other key dates, including International Women Human Rights Defenders Day on 29th November; World AIDS Day on 1st December; and 6th December, which marks the Anniversary of the Montreal Massacre.

Why is the campaign important?

The campaign is a vital part of efforts to raise awareness of gender-based violence, which has immense impacts on the health, freedom, happiness and safety of women and people of marginalized genders.

According to the World Health Organisation, “violence against women – particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence – is a major public health problem and a violation of women’s human rights”, with about 1 in 3 women worldwide having experienced intimate partner or non-partner violence in their lifetime. In the UK, specifically, in the year ending March 2022, an estimated 2.4 million adults experienced some form of domestic abuse, with 1.7 million of them women. These horrendous statistics highlight the urgency of campaigns to end gender-based violence.

We also cannot understand and fight against gender-based violence without understanding and fighting against violence towards trans, non-binary and gender non-conforming people. In the UK and globally, violence towards trans and non-binary people is high. Trans people experience disproportionately high levels of domestic violence and abuse. In 2018, Stonewall reported that 28% of trans people had experienced domestic abuse that year. Another recent SafeLives report suggested that the “available research suggests that some LGBT+ people experience domestic abuse at a higher rate than non-LGBT+people”, with trans and non-binary people, as well as bisexual women, at particular risk. This year, the Official Statistics for Hate Crime noted an 11% rise in hate crime this year towards trans people, with GALOP recording a 65% increase in LGBTQ+ victims of hate crime coming to them for support in the past year.

In short, the picture is bleak and there is much work to be done. This campaign is one component of this vital work and we urge all who can to get involved in the fight to end gender-based violence.

How Touchstone supports 16 days of action

To support the campaign, Touchstone will be organising events, sharing resources via social media, and asking colleagues to pledge to support the drive to end gender-based violence.

In particular we will be focusing on raising awareness around domestic violence and abuse, with support from our Domestic Abuse champions. Keep an eye on our social media for further updates.

What to do if you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse?

If you’re experiencing domestic abuse and feel frightened of, or controlled by, a partner, an ex-partner or family member, it’s important to remember that it’s not your fault and there is no shame in seeking help. You can get help from any of these organisations depending on where you live in the UK:

  • If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, call 999.

For other forms of support

  • Wales Live Fear Free Helpline:
  • Karma Nirvana – Honour Based Abuse Support
  • Pennine Domestic Abuse Support Partnership 

Women’s Aid also have a directory of domestic abuse support services across the UK. Domestic abuse advisers will offer confidential, non-judgemental information and advice on the options available to you helping you to keep safe and make informed choices.

If you believe there is an immediate risk of harm to someone, or it is an emergency, call 999.