Ways to help stop violence against women


Violence against women is a major problem in societies around the world. It occurs in different forms, and to different degrees, but is a common theme found nearly everywhere.

The United Nations defines violence against women as:

“any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.[1]

According to the United Nations, “it is estimated that 35 per cent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives”.[2]

Having read many guidelines, reports and studies on the subject, the Omani Centre for Human Rights offers the following suggestions that may help to end, or go some way to ending, violence against women. They are addressed to both women and men:

Learn more about the whole issue of violence against women, and educate yourself and those around you.

Study the local laws and think about how fairly they treat women or conform to international laws.

Contact your local authorities (government bodies), lawmakers (parliament/Shura Council), or even the judiciary (judges and courts), and call for laws to be reformed or amended, especially laws that don’t provide sufficient protection for women, or that pander to men.

Listen to victims’ stories, and try to offer them a safe space to talk freely, without harassment or bullying.

Encourage women to share and talk about their experiences, in order to help others avoid going through the same experiences and situations.

Organise social events, either live or online, to increase awareness of the issue, and educate people on the procedures for dealing with victims of violence and protecting them.

Work with your local community to provide shelters offering temporary or longer-term refuge for victims of violence who cannot safely remain in their homes or with their partners/husbands.

Try to talk to education and health institutions – schools and universities and hospitals – about having longer-term awareness-raising programmes for all age groups.

Never blame the victim because of the way she was dressed or where she happened to be at the time of the incident. And don’t hold her partly responsible if she doesn’t try to identify the other person or delays reporting the incident.

In order to protect victims, be sure always to gain their consent before speaking in public about any particular case.

There needs to be an end to discrimination against women in education and employment.

Urge the authorities to provide a hotline and set up a rapid intervention team to respond to emergencies or urgent reports.

Always advise and tell women in your community not to remain silent about any abuse but to follow the appropriate legal routes.[3]

Violence against women is a crime against society. Don’t let it happen without taking a firm stand.

[1] United Nations. Declaration on the elimination of violence against women. New York: UN, 1993. https://www.ohchr.org/EN/ProfessionalInterest/Pages/ViolenceAgainstWomen.aspx

[2] https://www.unwomen.org/en/what-we-do/ending-violence-against-women/facts-and-figures

[3] https://www.marshall.edu/womenstu/stop-abuse/what-you-can-do-to-prevent-violence-against-women/

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