Orange the World: #HearMeToo 4 Reasons to UNiTE to End Violence Against Women

July 25, 2019 | Focus Areas: Ending Gender Violence

Orange the World: #HearMeToo 4 Reasons to UNiTE to End Violence Against Women

Orange Day is a monthly observance on the 25th that promotes a brighter future, free of violence for women and girls.[1] Initiated and led by the UNiTE campaign Global Youth Network, Orange Day calls upon activists, governments and UN partners to mobilize society and highlight issues relevant to preventing and ending violence against women and girls. You can join in the activism by wearing orange this July 25!

Here are four reasons why everyone should #UNiTE to end violence against women and girls…

1. Intimate Partner Violence

Globally, one in three women will experience physical, sexual, or psychological violence in their lifetime.[2] Intimate partner violence has been associated with chronic pain, depression, unplanned pregnancies, sexually transmitted diseases, neonatal, infant, and maternal mortality, malnutrition, mental health disorders, and an increased risk for suicide.[3] UNiTE calls for comprehensive action plans that advocate for healthy relationships between couples.

Communal programs, such as Dating Matters, is a national initiative that works to ultimately increase young people’s capacity for developing, establishing, and maintaining healthy relationships.[4] The Dating Matters program employs evidence-based strategies and a community-driven approach to educate youth, parents, educators, schools, and neighborhoods about healthy relationships to stop dating violence before it starts.

 

2. Non-Partner Related Sexual Violence

Individuals of all genders and sexual orientations may experience sexual violence. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), 7% of women globally have experienced sexual violence by a non-partner in their lifetime.[5] A peer review conducted by RTI indicates that sexual and gender minorities, particularly of the LGBT+ community, are at an elevated risk for physical and sexual assault throughout childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.[6]

The highest prevalence of non-partner sexual violence was reported in Central Sub-Saharan Africa (21%) followed by Southern sub-Saharan Africa (17.4%).[7] Existing WHO research shows that women who have experienced this form of violence are 2.3 times more likely to have alcohol use disorders and 2.6 times more likely to experience depression or anxiety.[8]

3. Child Marriage

Globally, more than 700 million women today were married before their 18th birthday.[9]  Every minute, 23 adolescent girls are involuntarily married.[10] Child marriage is manifested by gender inequality, poverty, social norms, cultural practices, and unprotective legislation.

In an RTI study of 700+ young married women in Bangalore, India, over half (56%) of the study participants reported having ever experienced physical domestic violence; about a quarter (27%) reported violence in the past 6 months.[11] Young brides are often unable to make their own decisions regarding their sexual and reproductive health (SRH). This increases the likelihood of maternal and child mortality, sexually transmitted infections or diseases, and other SRH complications. Subsequently, 44% of child brides believe it is justifiable for a partner or husband to physically abuse them.[12]

4. Human Trafficking

According to the International Labor Organization, women and girls are disproportionately represented in human trafficking cases, accounting for 28.7 million, or 71% of the overall total of trafficked persons. In particular, women account for 68% of sexually exploited trafficked individuals, while girls account for 26%.[13] Survivors and victims of human trafficking may find it difficult to speak about their experiences or seek support services. Many of these women have previously faced poverty, sexual abuse, and histories of violent relationships.

One RTI study found that 44% of female foster care youth self-reported exploitation while on the run from foster care in Florida.[14] “Running away” from foster care is the most commonly reported “path of endangerment” into human trafficking.

To end violence against women and girls and other gender minorities, it is vital to listen to the voices of survivors and activists worldwide. By UNiTEing together, igniting public dialogue, enforcing policies, and holding our global community accountable, our actions today can offer a glimpse of hope for tomorrow.

This 25th, let’s #OrangeTheWorld in support of women worldwide! For more information visit: http://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/take-action.


References:


[1] https://www.un.org/en/events/endviolenceday/ (Nations, 2019)

[2] Chibber KS, Krishnan S. (2011). Confronting intimate partner violence: a global health priority. Mt Sinai J Med. 78(3), 449–457.

[3] Chibber KS, Krishnan S. (2011). Confronting intimate partner violence: a global health priority. Mt Sinai J Med. 78(3), 449–457.

[4] Centers for Disease Control and Preventions. (2019). Dating Matters: Strategies to Promote Healthy Teen Relationships. 1-14.

[5] World Health Organization. (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women. 2.

[6]   McKay, T., Lindquist, C. H., & Misra, S. (2017). Understanding (and Acting On) 20 Years of Research on Violence and LGBTQ + Communities. Trauma, Violence, & Abuse. https://doi.org/10.1177/1524838017728708

[7] World Health Organization. (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women. 48.

[8] World Health Organization. (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women. 2.

[9] UNICEF. (2017). Ending Child Marriage, Progress and Prospects. (1).

[10] Girls Not Brides. (2019). About Child Marriage. Retrieved from https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/about-child-marriage/

[11] Rocca CH, Rathod S, Falle T, Pande RP, Krishnan S. Challenging assumptions about women’s empowerment: social and economic resources and domestic violence among young married women in urban South India. Int J Epidemiol. 2009;38(2):577–585. doi:10.1093/ije/dyn226

[12] Girls Not Brides. (2014). Why Is Child Marriage a Form of Violence Against Women and Girls? Retrieved from https://www.girlsnotbrides.org/why-is-child-marriage-a-form-of-violence-against-women-and-girls/

[13] International Labor Organization. (2017). 2017 Global Estimates of Modern Slavery. United States Department of Labor under Cooperative Agreement

[14] Latzman, N.E., Gibbs, D.A., Feinberg, R., Kluckman, M.N. Aboul-Hosn, S., (2019) Human trafficking victimization among youth who run away from foster care. Children and Youth Services Review, 98, 113-124.