16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM AGAINST
with Nonviolence International New York!
Nonviolence International New York
Is a Volunteer and Youth powered Branch of Nonviolence International that advocates for nonviolent solutions in violent and oppressive situations. It does so through civil society participation at the United Nations, Partnerships with grassroots organizations and Outreach on Social Media
16 DAYS CAMPAIGN - Nonviolence International New York
One of the highlights of our social media calendar here at Nonviolence International New York is the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
This is an annual international campaign that begins on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.
The campaign is coordinated each year by the Center for Women's Global Leadership (CWGL).
Organizations around the world focusing on nonviolence, peace, and gender equality collaborate in this global project to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
Nonviolence International New York contributes to the campaign by advancing the gender equality agenda from the perspective of humanitarian disarmament.
It is imperative that the global movement for peace
incorporates the perspectives of women and girls, who highlight issues which might otherwise be insufficiently addressed.
One international instrument that is paving the
way for the application of a gender-sensitive lens to be used in arms issues is the Arms Trade Treaty. The theme for the fifth presidency of the ATT, which was held in Latvia, was gender and gender-based violence.
Last August, State Parties met in Geneva to discuss how their actions within the ATT can have a greater focus on gender equality.
Roisin Putti, research analyst at NVI-NY, looked into the outcomes of the meeting and argues that gender quotas are an important element to secure equal gender representation at ATT conferences and beyond.
Check out her blog post
16 DAYS CAMPAIGN - Nonviolence International New York
HISTORY OF 16 DAYS
BY CARL MACKENSEN
16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence was created by members of the Center for Women’s Global Leadership (CWGL) in 1991. The United Nations supports this yearly initiative with their UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign. Many organisations around the world do the same, either by supporting the UN campaign or creating their own. The 16 Days movement originated with the Montreal Massacre in 1989 - a mass shooting at the École Polytechnique that resulted in the deaths of 14 women, and an additional 10 women and four men being injured. This mass shooting was regarded as gender-based violence, and led to the creation of the 16 Days of Activism initiative two years later.
Gender-based violence is still a stark reality around the world. Women and girls experience sexual and physical violence in times of war and peace. The presence of a gun in the home dramatically increases the likelihood of gender-based violence, as abusers with access to firearms are up to five times more likely to kill their victims. Every month, approximately 52 women are shot and killed by a domestic partner. Together we can bring gender-based violence to a halt. Evidence has shown that stopping abusers’ access to guns by following federal and state laws and policies can save lives. It is necessary to call on our elected officials to make it impossible for abusers to get access to guns. The 16 Days campaign reminds us gender-based violence in 2019 is still a reality. Evidence-based policies show us the way to prevent the deaths and abuse of women and girls around the world. Together, by lifting our voice and advocating, we can implement change in our society.
This is at the heart of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign.
Sexual Violence and
BY CARL MACKENSEN
Sexual assault has a complicated relationship with mental health. Sexual assault can lead to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), eating and sleeping disorders, suicidality, amongst other things. The stigma that people already face by virtue of having a mental health issue is hard enough to deal with on a day to day basis, let alone when sexual assault is layered on top of this. There is a 50-59% percent chance that a woman will develop PTSD after being raped. Childhood sexual abuse is strongly linked to worsened mental health as an adult. Trauma-related disorders related to
sexual abuse are also much higher among poor women, with one study
finding that 83% of women in the study had been physically or sexually
abused during their lifetimes. Lastly, the likelihood of experiencing violence
as a homeless woman was found to be so high (97%) that it was seen to be
simply the norm.
There is cause for hope. First, prevention of sexual assault through public education campaigns about consent can make a real difference. Second, reducing the stigma associated with both mental health issues and sexual assault greatly ameliorates subsequent treatment. Lastly, there are organizations that deal with sexual assault, and the earlier intervention takes place, the better are the prospects of recovery. With prevention, lessening stigma, and treatment, we can make a difference. Some of the organizations that exclusively tackle these issue are the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN), and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center. Contact information can be found below.
24/7 Hotline: 800-656-4673
IMAGE SOURCE MEDUIM
So what can we do? If you have experienced trauma, seek help. Relatedly, we can work to lessen the stigma of mental health issues, whether occurring before or after trauma, and their treatments. We can make a difference by having difficult conversations with our family, friends, neighbors, and community members about both mental health, and sexual violence. Specifically, we can lessen the stigma associated with mental health and sexual violence by listening compassionately to survivors, and offering them a forum in which to tell their stories. For those with mental illness, listening to their life experiences also proves a great resource on the road to recovery. Another tangible thing we can do is to speak with elected representatives and educators about including mandatory consent education in basic sexual education. This would aid prevention. Lastly, we can attempt to forge a ‘positive peace’ environment, by focusing attention on the poorest among us, as they disproportionately face the largest threat of trauma.
Together, we can make a difference.
Illustration: Annika Carlsson
16 DAYS OF
ACTIVISM GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE AT WORK
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD OF WORK
In the United States, the average workers spend approximately 55 hours a week engaging in work related activities (U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics). Therefore, the work environment plays a critical role in the health and well-being of
employees. While working or on duty, American employees experienced 36,500 rapes and sexual assaults from 1993 to 1999 (Duhart, 2011). And one study of employed women found that 38% experienced sexual harassment at work (Potter&Banyard,2011).
16 DAYS OF ACTIVISM
GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN THE WORLD OF WORK
The prevalence of sexual violence is not confined to socioeconomic lines. Factors such as racism, sexism, classism, and heterosexism can be taken advantage of by people who commit sexual violence. For instance, undocumented and documented immigrants, restaurant and service industry workers, and people living in poverty are more vulnerable to sexual assault in the workplace (Jewkes, Sen, & Garcia-Moreno, 2002). In traditionally male-dominated industries, such as in the military, women could experience more sexual harassment and violence. This section high lights specific populations that are at an increased risk for sexual victimization at work as well as introduces recommendations and targeted call to actions.
a. More than one in ten of the more than 4,300 restaurants workers Restaurant Opportunities Center (ROC)surveyed nationwide reported that they or aco-worker had experienced sexual harassment in their restaurant (ROCUnited,2011).
b. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) data revealed that from January to November 2011, almost 37%of all EEOC charges by women regarding sexual harassment came from there restaurant industry(Tahmincioglu,2011).
c. The EEOC has targeted the restaurant industry as the "single largest" source of sexual harassment claims(Stumer,2009).
1. Protect workers from violations of federal, state and local equal employment opportunity laws.
2. Adopt legislation that would provide incentives or mandate employers to provide regular, on-going sexual harassment training to all their employees, including managers.
- In 2010, 3,158 military sexual assaults were reported, about a quarter of those occurred during deployment in a combat zone (U.S.Department of Defense, Sexual Assault Prevention and Response 2011)
- The Department of Defense estimates that only 13.5% survivors report an assault.
- The Sexual Assault and Prevention Response Office (SAPRO) released the 2019-2023 Prevention Plan of Action in May 2019 to guide DoD's prevention efforts throughout the uniformed services, including
- "Establish the expectations for a comprehensive prevention process and prevention system, as well as specific actions the department, Services, and National Guard Bureau (NGB) will take to realize effective prevention in every military community (Department of Defense 2019-2023 Prevention Plan of Action)."
3. IMMIGRANT WOMEN
A. Immigrant women face gender-based discrimination and other forms of "otherness" which can further disadvantage or make them vulnerable.
B. Report Cultivating Fear by Human Rights Watch discusses the sexual violence experiences of immigrant farmworkers in the United States. This report suggests that these experiences are common among farmworking women, reporting is limited, and that an advocate's presence may increase reporting of these crimes.
C. Immigrant women are particularly vulnerable to sexual assault at workplace due to:
Lack of access to protection by legal or other systems of accountability
Economic instability/poverty, creating a lack of ability to change housing or job
Dependencyonindividual/system with power to create abuse
Pass the Senate version of the Violence Against WomenAct (VAWA) reauthorization bill
(S. 1925) or similar legislation that strengthens the U visa and other protection for immigrant victims of sexual violence, including farmworker women and girls.
Sexual violence in prisons
11/25/2019 - Njomeza Blakçori
Called out of her cell, she was led by a deputy at the L.A county jail into what appeared to be an unused classroom, pushed against a wall and raped. Although sexual violence had become a fairly routine experience for women incarcerated at Lynwood, CA, this distressing memory continues to haunt Ms. Infante nearly a decade on.
Sexual violence remains a prevalent phenomena in prisons internationally - with over 200,000 women raped each year in detention centres cross the US alone (with many believing the actual figure to be far higher than reported). In spite of this, relatively little attention is paid to the gendered dynamics of human right abuses among inmates. This article will aim to demonstrate how prisons maintain a conducive setting to extreme displays of gender-based violence (GBV), identifying the nature of such offences through case studies, considering the existing legal framework relevant to the protection of women’s rights under detention and concluding with policy recommendations that address key challenges concerning the enforcement of these standards.
Starting at Home: Ending GBV in NYC
11/25/2019- Alison Skilton
The normalization of sexual violence, domestic violence and the entire spectrum of harm-inducing acts laid upon women is a symptom of a systemic problem, one deeply rooted in gender and power inequality. Gender-based violence (GBV) is a mechanism for the subjugation of women, and it’s one that rears its ugly head in a myriad of ways; from the naturalization of rape culture and sexual harassment to reproductive coercion, sexual slavery and female infanticide. These issues, though broad-reaching, are integrated and indivisible from one another as they all stem from—and help perpetuate—abusive patriarchal systems, both cultural and institutionalized. These systems are pandemic and exist in all sizes and shapes around the world, with women and girls subjected to the local flavor of abuse at the hands of those in power.
The numbers of women experiencing sexual violence in the entertainment industry is increasingly high and the
numbers are alarming. The film industry is a striking example of the dangerous injustice against women. According to the statistics conducted by the USA Today in conjunction with the Creative Coalition, Women in Film and Television and the National Sexual Violence Resource Center, 94% of women working in the Hollywood industry have already experienced sexual violence. This encompasses" 'unwelcome sexual comments, jokes or gestures'. 87% 'being touched in a sexual way' 69% 'being shown sexual pictures without consent' 39% In addition,
21% said they had been 'forced to do a sexual act'
10% that they had been 'ordered unexpectedly to appear for auditions'.
According to the statistics by USA Today, less than 30% of the filed complaints result in actual improvement of the women's situations.
Moreover, I would like to highlight that the way women are being portrayed in film is romanticizing sexual violence against women and dangerously normalizes it. Precisely because it does not directly take violence against women seriously and is even ridiculing it in some productions. For example, the film LoveActually is full of scenes making fun of sexual harassment. Even films that attempt to point out sexual violence never do so without them using the image of sexual abuse instead of actually focusing on the trauma that those women experience. Still, too many films use scenes of sexual violence and rape against women as a means to tell a larger story of power and thus prevent a real dialogue.
Women in Film and Television...
is a non-profit, member-based organization -including producers, directors, actors, attorneys, technicians, film editors, graphic designers, make-up artists, wardrobe specialists, screenwriters, talent agents and casting directors, women who work in front and behind the camera - that seeks to fight against the male-dominated film industry and improve its nature in order to make the industry more reflective of gender equality. It encourages women to network among each other and changes the status of women in the industry. Most importantly, this organization gives out scholarships for young female college students in order to support them during their careers in the film industry.
Former actress, Alicia Rodis, has taken a step forward and founded the Intimacy Directors International organization, which develops standards to improve safety for intimacy in film and on stage. This will allow women to be able to go to work without the fear of becoming victims of sexual violence.
She communicates boundaries, as well as gives movement coaching to relieve the feeling of pressure an actress experiences when filming intimate scenes. The following infographic was published by the New York Film Academy in 2018 to exemplify the sexualized portrayal of women in film and shows how the industry uses the female body explicitly, because it raises profit.
IDEAS FOR CULTURAL ACTIONS
Creating a Hashtag calling out Film and Television Networks to hire an Intimacy Coordinator. #SafetyforIntimacyonSet Or Create and Spread a Tool kit with basic instructions for an Intimacy Coordinator and spread information about the organization Intimacy Directors International, so that even smaller institutions, such as theatres, for instance, are being informed.
Former actress, Alicia Rodis, has taken a step forward and founded the
organization, Intimacy Directors International, which develops standards to
improve safety for intimacy in film and on stage, for women to be able to go to
work without fearing to become victims of sexual violence. She communicates
boundaries, as well as gives movement coaching to relieve the feeling of pressure felt by the actress when she films intimate scenes. The following infographic was published by the New York Film Academy in 2018 to exemplify the sexualized portrayal of women in film and shows how the industry uses the female body explicitly, because it raises profit.
IDEAS FOR CULTURAL ACTIONS
Creating a Hashtag calling out Film and Television Networks to hire an Intimacy Coordinator. #SafetyforIntimacyonSet Or Create and Spread a Tool kit with basic instructions for an Intimacy Coordinator and spread information about the organization Intimacy Directors International, so that even smaller institutions, such as theatres, for instance, are being informed
Perrone, JeanneJoe. "Gender Inequality in Film
Infographic for 2018." NewYorkFilmAcademy
Blog, 8 Mar. 2018,
"Home." WIFTA, /.
Lazic, Elena. "Film Depictions of Sexual Violence
Are IncreasinglyAlarming.ItHastoStop." The
Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 14 Mar.
Pulver, Andrew. "94% Of Women in Hollywood
ExperienceSexual Harassment or Assault, Says Survey."
The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 21 Feb .2018,
Thank you all who have worked on this
Here is a list of all those who have contributed to the campaign directly:
Christine Van din Berg, Nicole Thompson, Anni Feng, Glory Akoh, Carl Mackensen, Alexa Sabatini - Roisin Putti, Njomëza Blakçori, Ronan Casey, Lorena Dairen Rodriguez Alexandria Miller, Shaune Hickson, Brittany Guillot, Alison Skilton Carolyn Smith, Amelia Kirshbaum, Amelie Namuroy, Marcellus T Henderson, and Joshua Kirshbaum.