Aug8

Can We Stop Violence Against Women Forever?

by Greg Jensen on August 8, 2011

Recent numbers for women who have been abused are difficult to track down.

Many victims are too afraid to seek out help or are too ashamed to report about their attacks and efforts to determine an accurate report for the number of women who have been abused are too scattered, unorganized, and therefore minimally effective. Since 2006, it’s become increasingly difficult to track down any accurate report on women suffering from domestic abuse – if any such modern reports exist at all. But still, the violence is happening. Likely more often than you might think. There are countless other stories of domestic abuse and the often sad outcomes. It’s about time you and I realize that we simply cannot afford to ignore the issue any longer.

Despite efforts to cut down on violence against women – through education, outreach, and support lines – there isn’t any clear evidence to say that violent acts are on the decline.

We can’t help but ask: is there any hope for forever ending violence against women? Realistically? And what can you do to help, if so?

To really bring an end to violence against women, it would take a massive level of education and training, not only for women but for entire societies. Women and girls need to be educated about potential signs of abuse and what to do if they find themselves in a situation where they’re a victim. Women need to know that they can get away from the violence. As for men and boys, they need to be educated as well. With the majority of domestic violence involving a male attacking a female, a great emphasis must be built on equality and equal rights.

One of the obvious reasons for violence against women is the belief that men are superior to women, and that women must succumb to a man’s wishes and desires. In some cultures this isn’t merely taught, it’s passed down as a truth. That’s a big burden to overcome if we’re to ever end or cut down on these violent acts.

But is wide education and training realistic? With help from all of us, it may be. Whenever you find yourself in an opportunity to educate someone (a sibling, a loved one, a friend, even a stranger), let them know about equality of the sexes and how discrimination only hurts those around us.

Stop Family Violence has a few additional insights into how to prevent domestic violence, including:

• Work for full equality between men and women in society and in personal relationships.
• Examine the ways we legitimize male violence.
• Do not use “like a girl” or “like a woman” as a put-down.
• Teach boys and girls effective, respectful ways to express frustration, sadness, and anger.
• Advocate for anti-violence laws and enforcement.
• Encourage children to trust their instincts.
• Support the work of shelters and VAW prevention organizations in your area.

There’s a long road ahead of us as a society if we’re to see an end to violence against women. But it’s possible, if we started working today. What are you doing to help?