16 Days of Action campaign starts

An international campaign which calls for the elimination of violence against women and children is supported with a series of events in Aberdeen which have started.

The 16 Days of Action campaign, which was started by the Centre for Women's Global Leadership in 1991, runs from November 25 (International Day against Violence against Women) through to December 10th (International Human Rights Day) with the aim of reframing women's rights as human rights.

The campaign is about increasing women's safety, highlighting the nature and prevalence of violence against women, raising awareness of violence against women as a human rights issue, showing solidarity among women around the world, promoting women's leadership, lobbying government, and strengthening local work to tackle violence against women.

Aberdeen Violence Against Women Partnership supports the 16 Days of Action campaign and has organised a series of events aimed at engaging with women who have suffered or are suffering domestic abuse. The events are delivered through the various agencies in the partnership.

Aberdeen City Council community safety spokesman Councillor Gordon Graham said: "We hope these events will highlight how serious an issue violence against women is, and what can be done about it."

On November 25, from 1pm to 4pm, a Service User Event is being held at Copthorne Hotel, and from 10am to 12pm, a coffee morning is being held at RAS at 112 Crown Street.

On November 26, an event called Is Violence A Public Health Issue? is being run by SASO at the Faculty of Health and Social Care, RGU, Garthdee, from 5.45pm.

On November 27, Grampian Women's Aid is holding an Open Day at 25 Greenfern Road, Mastrick, from 9.30am to 3.30pm. On Saturday, there will be an awareness-raising stall at the Asda at Dyce, and one at Asda at Middleton Park on Sunday, both from 11am to 3pm.

An internet safety training event is being held at the Women's Café in Spring Garden on Tuesday 1 December from 1.30pm to 3pm, and there is also a soup and gardening day at RAS, 112 Crown Street, from 11am to 2pm.

On Wednesday 2 December, a gender workshop is being held at RAS, 112 Crown Street, from 12pm to 2pm, and on Thursday 3 December, there will be a FGM workshop at the same venue from 12.30pm to 3.30pm.

A drop-in event is being held at the Women's Café in Spring Garden on Tuesday 8 December from 10am to 3pm, and on Wednesday 9 December, a coffee morning is being held at RAS, 112 Crown Street, from 10am to 12pm.

The last event is being held on Thursday 10 December, and is a gardening and soup session at RAS, 112 Crown Street, from 3pm to 5pm.

As well as the events listed, there are also various school sessions, workshops and fundraising events being held during the 16 Days. Aberdeen City Council will also be projecting various images promoting the campaign and local services on to city centre buildings at night.

Violence against women includes but is not limited to physical, sexual and psychological violence occurring in the family, general community or in institutions, sexual harassment and intimidation at work and in the public sphere, sexual exploitation, dowry-related violence, female genital mutilation, forced and child marriages, and honour crimes. These different forms of violence against women have their roots in gender inequality and are therefore understood as gender-based violence.

In the UK, two women are killed each week by their partner or ex-partner (Dept of Health 2005)

One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.

Women experience an average of 35 domestic abuse incidents before they report it to the Police

1 in four women will experience domestic abuse at some point in their life

Approximately 84% of domestic abuse incidents involved a female victim and male perpetrator

89% of women surveyed reported experiencing financial abuse as part of their experience of domestic abuse (Scottish Women's Aid, 2008)