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International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

(credit: Dagmar Dorn)

enditnow® was launched in 2009 by the women's department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its aid organization, ADRA.

November 30, 2020 | APD.

Sixteen days of activism wants to remind Adventist women that violence and abuse must be stopped. This thought was shared by Dagmar Dorn, Director of the women’s department at the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Western and Southern Europe (Inter-European Division/EUD). The "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" (November 25) was the start of an international campaign that will run until December 10, the United Nations Human Rights Day.

Enditnow® Initiative

To mark the occasion, Dorn referred to the worldwide initiative, enditnow®, which was launched in 2009 by the women's department of the Seventh-day Adventist Church and its aid organization, ADRA, and is now supported by all departments of the Church. Enditnow® called for a definitive end to violence against women and girls worldwide. Furthermore, the position of the Seventh-day Adventist Church on violence against women should be made known. The campaign wants to sensitize and mobilize people worldwide and invite other initiatives to confront this global problem.

Every third woman worldwide affected by violence

Today, one in three women worldwide has experienced violence in some form, at least once in her life. Many suffer from domestic violence, rape, sexual harassment, harassment at work, digital harassment, hate speech, psychological abuse, stalking, bullying, child marriage, female genital mutilation, honor killings, and femicides. These and other practices are cruel and therefore completely unacceptable. Following this line of thought, the Orange Day and UNiTE campaign want to draw attention to the problem and contribute to ending it. "We must admit that violence exists and that it must be stopped. Let us make our world orange so that women can live without fear of violence and abuse!".

Orange against violence

Hannele Ottschofski, Adventist blogger, adds: "As the ‘Orange the World’ initiative has become a worldwide movement where people post photos of their actions in orange on the Internet, awareness is growing that violence is not okay. More and more people have spoken out, including heads of state and government [leaders] who have announced new initiatives and supported existing ones. For example, on 23.11.2020, Chancellor Angela Merkel referred to a national telephone hotline for victims of violence (08000 116 016), and an online initiative (https://staerker-als-gewalt.de/), as well as [drawing attention] to more funding for advice centers and women's shelters.

Under the leadership of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the United Nations called for support for the UNiTE campaign to end violence against women by 2030, by raising awareness and joining forces to share knowledge and innovation.

Abuse and parenthood

As part of a training course for midwives, Dorn had recently learned more about the effects on pregnancy and the birth process for women with experiences of violence.

"Sexual violence has a great influence on pregnancy, birth, and the mother-child bond. A person's conscious memory of her abuse is often partially or completely blocked, due to dissociation during the abuse as a kind of protective mechanism when the trauma is too terrible to process."

Blocked memories tended to come to the surface under circumstances of emotional or physical stress, or at special stages of life, such as pregnancy, childbirth and parenthood, including breastfeeding.

Education and prevention necessary

It is therefore important that violence is recognized as a health risk and that medical personnel are trained to consider the prevalence and effects of violence and trauma. Mothers (and fathers) who have experienced violence have a higher risk of abusing their own children. Therefore, education and prevention could mitigate the far-reaching consequences of violence for future generations.

More information about enditnow®: www.enditnow.org.

The original article was published on this web site.

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