Domestic violence against women is one of the most abject human rights violations

Domestic violence against women is one of the most abject human rights violations

Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread, persistent and devastating human rights violations. It remains unreported mainly due to the impunity, silence, stigma and shame surrounding it. On International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, observed on November 25th, ADRA reaffirms we have put the well-being of girls and women on the frontline of our activities, projects and programs. ADRA is a proud supporter of the #enditnow initiative.

Violence against women is any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or private life.

»Domestic violence against women is one of the most abject human rights violations. When perpetrators take advantage of the trust won by intimacy to abuse women, we witness an unforgivable cowardy. ADRA values the position of women in society, but even more in the family context. Through our projects and voice, we defend women’s right to live safe lives with dignity«, says ADRA Europe’s director João Martins.

»Every 11 minutes, a woman or girl is killed by an intimate partner or family member — and we know that other stresses, from the COVID-19 pandemic to economic turmoil, inevitably lead to even more physical and verbal abuse. Women and girls also face rampant online violence, from misogynistic hate speech to sexual harassment, image abuse and grooming by predators. This discrimination, violence and abuse, targeting half of humanity, comes at a steep cost. It limits women’s and girls’ participation in all walks of life, denies their fundamental rights and freedoms, and blocks the equal economic recovery and sustainable growth our world needs,« United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres is clear.

Even if the laws exist, they are not implemented

Despite adopting the Convention of the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) by the UN General Assembly in 1979, violence against women and girls remains a pervasive problem worldwide.

At least 144 countries have passed laws on domestic violence, and 154 have laws on sexual harassment. However, this does not mean they are always compliant with international standards and recommendations or implemented.

Only two out of three countries have outlawed domestic violence, while 37 countries worldwide still exempt rape perpetrators from prosecution if they are married to or eventually marry the victim, and 49 countries currently have no laws protecting women from domestic violence.

Anyone can be a victim of gender-based violence

While gender-based violence can happen to anyone, anywhere, some women and girls are particularly vulnerable. Young girls and older women, migrants and refugees, indigenous women and ethnic minorities, women and girls living with HIV and disabilities, and those living through humanitarian crises are the most exposed.

enditnow campaign joins Adventists around the globe

enditnow is a global initiative to raise awareness and advocate for the end of violence around the world. It aims to mobilize Seventh-day Adventists worldwide and invites other community groups to resolve this worldwide issue.

This initiative, which extends to more than 200 countries and territories, was launched in October 2009 in partnership between the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)-a prominent humanitarian organization-and, the Department of Women’s Ministries of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, two entities that are representative of the Adventist Church.

 enditnow is the most important stand the Seventh-day Adventist Church has ever taken regarding violence against men, women and children. Through this campaign, more than 15 million Adventist church members -men, women, and children – are expected to create a global movement that will be mobilized within their communities, where each person will actively work to create awareness and share solutions on ways to end this global problem.

Sustainable Development Goals include gender equality

Violence against women continues to be an obstacle to achieving equality, development, and peace and fulfilling women’s and girls’ human rights. All in all, the promise of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), including SDG 5, devoted to Gender Equality – to leave no one behind – cannot be fulfilled without putting an end to violence against women and girls.