Take action to end violence against women and girls
Violence against women and girls is a grave violation of human rights. Its impact ranges from immediate to long-term multiple physical, sexual and mental consequences for women and girls, including death. It negatively affects women’s general well-being and prevents women from fully participating in society. Violence not only has negative consequences for women but also their families, the community and the country at large. It has tremendous costs, from greater health care and legal expenses and losses in productivity, impacting national budgets and overall development.
Worldwide, approximately one in three women have experienced either physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. In the Asia-Pacific region, although 31 out of 39 countries have laws against gender-based violence, the problem of violence against women persists at varying rates. In Singapore, for example, 6 per cent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives, while in Thailand, this figure stands at 44 per cent. Exposure to violence often starts early in women’s relationships, with women as young as 15 to 19 experiencing incidents of violence. Under the leadership of the UN Secretary General, António Guterres, the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign (UNiTE) calls for global action in order to raise awareness about the issue, increase advocacy and allow for the sharing of knowledge and innovation.
Stand with us! Sign your name to end violence against women.
Signs of abuse
In some cases, one can be in an abusive relationship without even realizing it. Abusers may act loving and kind to their partner in order to compel the victim to stay in that relationship. However, these instances of loving behavior do not excuse abusive behavior.
The following are just some of the signs that could indicate an abusive relationship;
- Your partner humiliates you or yells at you
- Your partner often criticizes you and puts you down
- Your partner blames you for their outbursts
- Your partner monitors what you are doing at all times
- Your partner acts very jealous and accusatory
- Your partner restricts you from socializing, especially with members of the opposite sex or restricts you from seeing your friends and family
- Your partner does not allow you to have a personal bank account, credit or debit card
- Your partner tracks every dollar you spend
- Your partner threatens to hurt you or the people in your life
- Your partner causes you physical harm
- Your partner threatens to harm themselves when they are upset with you
- Your partner forces you to have sexual intercourse.
What to do if you are facing abuse
If you feel that you are in an abusive relationship, it is important to know what steps to take in order to protect yourself from further harm.
The following are steps to take if you believe you are in an abusive relationship;
- Be willing to walk away from the relationship if there is a need.
- Do not blame yourself for the actions and choices of your abusive partner.
- Tell someone you trust like a friend, family member, counsellor or co-worker.
- Decide if you are in immediate danger. If you feel that your partner might harm you, go somewhere safe immediately. If you cannot get away, inform a friend or family member, or call the police.
- Identify safe areas in the house where you can go if your abuser attacks you or starts an argument. Be careful to avoid small enclosed spaces or rooms with tools that could prove dangerous (e.g. kitchen or store-room)
- Have important documents ready, such as birth certificates and bank records, which you can access easily should you need to leave.
- Plan an escape route. This would involve having somewhere safe to go, such as the house of someone you trust or a women’s shelter.
Sexual violence can be committed by an intimate partner or by a total stranger.
The following are steps to take if you have been a victim of sexual assault;
- Do not change out of your clothes as clothing may be used to collect forensic evidence.
- If you are injured, seek medical attention in an emergency room as soon as possible. Doctors may administer a rape kit in order to preserve any forensic evidence.
- Decide if you want to report the incident. Should you decide to report it, go to the nearest police station where the officers will take your statement.
- Get medicine to prevent sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and unwanted pregnancies.
- You may need to seek support from trusted individuals, a counsellor or a hotline.
What to do if someone else if being abused
When someone in your life is the victim of physical, emotional or sexual abuse, it is important to be supportive and attentive to their needs.
The following are some ways you can help someone who you think is experiencing violence.
- Try to have an in person private conversation with them. Avoid texting, calling or leaving a voice message as this could put them in danger.
- Listen respectfully to what they have to say. Do not press for details or ask them why they did not leave. If the person does not want to talk, simply say you will be there should they need you.
- Before you speak to them, find services nearby that you can direct them to.
- Offer practical support, such as accompanying them to appointments or calling a helpline.
- Respect their decisions.
- Never confront an abuser or do anything that may compromise your safety.
- You may need to seek support for your own feeling through a trusted individual or a counsellor.
|Type of Service||Name of Organisation||Contact information|
|Counselling, physical treatment, court/legal support||One Stop Crisis Center||Hotline 1300 (24 Hours)|
|Hotline services, shelter, case referral and legal support||Foundation for Women||
PO Box 47 Bangkoknoi Bangkok 10700 Thailand Ph. (66-2) 433 5149 Fax. (66-2) 434 6774
|Hotline services, case referral and legal support||Friends of Women Foundation||386/61-62 Ratchadapisek 42, Ratchada Road Latyao, Jatuchak, Bangkok 10900 Tel: 02 513 1001 (Also hotline 9AM - 4PM Mon - Fri) Fax: 02 513 1929|
|Hotline services and case referral||The Women and Men Progressive Movement Foundation (WMP)||50/6 Ratchadaphisek Road 42-44, Chan Kasem, Chatuchak, Bangkok 10900 Tel 0 2513 2889 (Also Hotline Wed - Fri) Fax 0 2513 2856 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org|
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Save the date for the UN official commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.