1 in 3 women and girls worldwide experience violence in their lifetime.
On the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women local women’s organizations gathered in central Malmö for a light manifestation. We were there on the cold November night, lighting candles to bring attention to violence against women in Sweden. Girls’ Globe asked these organizations about their priorities to end violence against women, here’s what they had to say.
The International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women is a day to raise awareness of women being subjected to violence. A horrific reality many of us know exist. Still we choose to close their eyes to it, which is exactly why this day is needed. No matter how horrible it is, people need to know it is reality for many women around the world. Women who can’t close their eyes to it.
One of the organizations present was Malmö Kvinnojour. They work to help women exposed to domestic violence by offering, for example, shelter and helplines. The purpose of their organization is to give women the strength and confidence to take control of their own situations. FemCenter is another organization in Malmö that offers protected residences and support. They work to highlight the problem of violence against women by holding lectures in schools and work to break the circle before it has begun.
”We usually say there are push and pull factors. What pushes a person into prostitution or human trafficking and what pulls them? The push factor would be poverty and pull factor would be demand. So we try to spread awareness about demand and target that.”
– Tabitha Small, Noomi
Noomi were also present to light candles and show their existence. Noomi is an organisation that supports abused women with a focus on prostitution and human trafficking. They offer guidance, support and shelter. Through lectures and advocacy they work to bring awareness to the problem and help break the spiral of exploitation and helplessness that women find themselves in by giving them a belief in their own value and tools to change their life situation.
When we spread awareness together we can help end the global epidemic of violence against women.
Talking with these amazing women and seeing their drive to help other women to take control of their own lives was extremely inspiring. It was a really cold evening and still they were there for more than an hour, spreading information. They did it because it meant something, if not everything, to them. This is what they dedicate their time to and it truly is amazing to see women lifting other women and helping them through hard times. Many people walked past and wondered what was going on and many people left having gained knowledge about violence against women. They were also given orange flowers and got the chance to light candles.
If you or anyone you know might need help with regaining control of their own lives, don’t hesitate – reach out. There are several organizations ready to give a helping hand.