Actions against Violence*

There are many types of gender violence. Be aware.

On the 25th, of November women around the globe will take the street or internet to manifest on the International Day for ​the Elimination of Violence against Women. This day was established in 1993 by the General Assembly of the United National. 

In it’s declaration article 1 states that violence against women “means any act of genderbased 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 in private life”.

A lot of time went we talk about the term violence against women we only think of physical, psychological, and sexual violence,  however that is not the case since there are several types of violence. According to a Reporting on Violence against Women and Girls Handbook for journalist published  in 2019 by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)  these are also actions of violence against women:

  • Cyberbullying and online harassment to women includes several:

Trolling: post or comments to try to provoke controversy

• Doxxing: online researching and publishing of private information about a person

in order to cause them harm

• Obsessive online stalking (cyberstalking), intrusive and threatening harassment

of a person

• Cyber-control in relationships

• Revenge porn: non-consensual dissemination of intimate images, online public

sharing of sexually explicit content without the consent of the person concerned,

often for the purposes of revenge.

  • Early marriages or child marriages
  • Female genital mutilation/cutting
  • Forced marriages
  • Gender-specific foeticide and infanticide
  • Sexual harassment, sexual assault and rape
  • So-called ‘honour’ crimes
  • Trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants women
  • Violence by an intimate partner or ex-partner and murder (femicide).

Is important to remember that all these actions of violence are based on a patriarchal structure, which is defined by  the power between women and men globally. 

Photo by Sydney Sims on Unsplash

In Finland  +Collective which is a group of individuals of different backgrounds, networks, and organizations has a shared goal to support human rights and equality, promoting social change, and inclusion. Toward the 25h of November, it launched  the campaign ​“We Want We Do”.  The 6-week campaign program includes workshops, webinars, podcasts, and exhibitions; however, the main events will take place at Central​ ​Library Oodi and in Kansalaistori, Helsinki, from November 17 to 29, 2020. 

One the webinar that will be discussed is Online violence that was mentioned above. This way of violence is common today since the use of social media platforms are part of daily routine. You are welcome to join us on 20.11 at 16:30-18:00. For more information click here

In the campaign We Want We Do transgender women voice is hear about the violence they experience. In an interview to Susanna Viljanmaa from Transfeminiinit she manifested, “the violence that most transgender people experience is verbal. For example, the year I came out I got multiple harassment on the street everyday. Also, transgender immigrants face their own problems in Finland, sometimes their diagnoses from other countries aren’t respected or they might not need any diagnosis to get hormone replacement, thus their treatment ceases”. 

The artistic itinerant installation of Red Shoes created by the Mexican artist Elina Chauvet  which ​denounces the high percentage of violence against women and femicides during the 90s in ​Ciudad Juárez, Mexico  is one of the events that will take place on the November 25. Is the first time that this installation will be presented in Finland. During an interview for the campaign she said “the death of my sister by her husband  (femicide) was the cause of  my art. I was really excited when I got an email requesting that my art be presented in Helsinki, it will be at the very north of the planet”. 

Finland is not an exception for women violence. According to data from the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) in 2019 there was an ​increase of 6% in relation to 2018 in people who sought help from shelters. 91% of people out of 5,354 who sought services were women. In addition, statistic from the Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy (Krimo) states that in 2019, 15 women were murder in Finland. 

Women violence is a public issue, so please join us, act, and be part of this chain of change.  We Want and We Can Do it.

*This article was published in the We Encourage blog.

Gender violence stories

From Dubai to Chile women took the streets to demand an end to violence against women. Three stories of violence.

Text by: Shirlene Green Newball Photo by : Kimmo Lehtonen

Santiago, Chile

My phone rang and I saw it was a loving friend calling, so I picked up. On the other side, I heard her sad and weeping voice saying: “He hit me and I had the baby in my hand”. She was referring to her partner and father of her child. I was mad since I also had my experience in my teen.

When I arrived at her house I saw a bruise on her left cheek. We sat down and she told me her outrage violence story. She decided not to press charge against him, which was unacceptable to me, but I knew I had to respect her decision and just let her know that I was there to support her. And so I did. 

Gender-based violence forms can be physical, psychological, sexual, economic, and others carried by individuals and states. Every day hundreds of women and girls around the world live it, so my friend’s case was not an exception.

According, to the Global Study on Homicide 2019: Gender-related killing of women and girls research published in July by the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) in 2017, a total of 87,000 women were killed intentionally from which, 50,000 were killed by an intimate partner or relative, meaning that 137 women were killed daily by a family member. This act of killing a woman is known by international organizations, some governments, academic, and women movements, as femicide.

The study also highlights the total women murders by continent; Asia being the continent with the largest number fallowed by Africa and the Americas.

United Nations Research

Since I became an activist, every 25thof November, I participate in manifestations on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Historically, this day is based on 1960, when Dictator Rafael Trujillo assassinated the three Mirabal sisters in the Dominican Republic.

My friend was at home in her porch when the episode occurred, which confirms that our home is not a safe place for us, but so are the streets, public transportations, and  social media channels. 

Can you imagine that in Granada, Spain, during the manifestation on Monday (25 November) a group of girls was attacked by a man with a knife? This act is insane and ironic. Why did he attack women in a protest against violence?  Is it because of hate speech, superiority or misogyny? What is clear is that someone almost got injured because of these extreme thoughts. 

Currently, the media and the Internet are spaces that lead to a lot of contents of violence against women.  

Do you remember the ridiculous attack Greta Thunberg faced during her visit to the United States of America in September? This teenage activist raising awareness about climate change was attacked tremendously on national television and social media by the right party. The accusations were crazy, from the way she dresses, her hairstyle, her whiteness, etc. 

On the 23rd of September during the broadcast of Fox News, Michael Knowles called her “a mentally ill Swedish child”.

Another ridiculous statement came from Laura Ingraham, the Fox News host who called Greta’s United Nations speech as “chilling”, with a head title saying, “Climate change hysteria is changing our kids”. 

Since social media plays an important role in being informed and active today, my friends and I got caught in this discussion. One of my friends was so tired of answering that it occurred to her we needed a strategy to continue, so she started to tag others in her answers with the purpose of getting support of our statement against the furious women and men attacking Greta and all her supporters. 

Gender-based violence has increased over the years. As women, we all are exposed to attacks any day. So it is not only the on 25thof November that we need to remember this, it is every single day. 

The strategies women create to counteract violence may seem foolish for some people. However, whatever you invent to protect yourself, make sure that it is effective and of great help to you. 

My friend was brave to call me and tell her story, but unfortunately, not every woman does it because they are scared and ashamed. From my experience and my friend’s, it is better to break the silence, look for help, go to a shelter home and press charges. Remember you are not alone and there is always support.