The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals have a target to “eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres”. The UN notes that:
“Violence against women and girls violates their human rights and hinders development. Most such violence is perpetrated by intimate partners”
While, thankfully, aspects of violence such as human trafficking are not prevalent in all countries the statistics for countries generally regarded as “safe” places are alarming. For example in Australia research compiled by White Ribbon Australia reveals that:
- One women is killed on average every week by a current or former partner.
- Domestic violence is the main cause of homelessness for women and their children.
- One in three women have experienced violence at the hands of someone they know.
As the SDGs acknowledge violence against women is a global problem but. in addressing it, perhaps we can draw insight from one of the architects of The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Eleanor Roosevelt, who said:
“Where, after all, do universal human rights begin?
In small places, close to home – so close and so small that they cannot be seen on any maps of the world.
Yet they are the world of the individual person; the neighborhood he lives in; the school or college he attends; the factory, farm, or office where he works.
Such are the places where every man woman and child seeks equal justice, equal opportunity, equal dignity without discrimination.
Unless these rights have meaning there, they have little meaning anywhere.
Without concerted citizen action to uphold them close to home, we shall look in vain for progress in the larger world.”
Let us ask ourselves what we can do to address this problem in those small places close to home.
Skinner & Associates are trying to contribute to addressing this problem in a small way by developing a shared value project around empowering women subjected to domestic violence and controlling behavior.