International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

// 25 November 2009

Today is the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Action.

There’s a few events going on today up and down the country – including tonight’s vigil in Trafalgar Square in London and Glasgow Reclaim the Night.

Refuge has launched a campaign encouraging people to “speak out against domestic violence”.

The government has released its national strategy on violence against women – see the Guardian’s story on this here.

Women’s Aid has released a single.

Rutgers in the US has a very thorough looking toolkit should you want some suggestions on what to do during the 16 days.

And Take Back the Tech will be posting daily ideas for some online activism.

Please feel free to leave links to other stuff going on in comments to this thread :-)

Comments From You

saranga // Posted 25 November 2009 at 10:34 am

Re tackling domestic and sexual violence in the classroom, I cna’t help but wonder how much DV and SV training the teachers will get, or if they’ll be given a broad lesson plan and be expected to just get on with it. That wouldn’t be very useful to either the teachers or the kids – how will the teachers be taught how to deal with issues raised when they teach kids from violent families or in violent relationships?

I have a contact who deals with PSHE in schools, (where I guess this wil be taught) I think I will pick their brains about it later.

(Not that I disagree with teaching kids this, I think this is a really important step and the government should be applauded for implementing this, I just hope that the teachers will get in depth training on this area)

Harry // Posted 25 November 2009 at 11:16 am

@ Saranga – the Govt. strategy includes integrating violence against women and girls into pre and post qualification teacher training, providing all schools with materials, encourages schools to involve specialist voluntary sector groups and requires all schools to have a named lead to deal with any disclosures from children and / or mothers.

Kate // Posted 25 November 2009 at 11:18 am

Saranga, as I understand it the Teacher Development Agency are on board and teachers will be trained, including how to deal with any disclosures from pupils.

Today is the culmination of the fantastic efforts from so many great women’s groups, well done everyone.

Jennifer Drew // Posted 25 November 2009 at 11:24 am

Very true – whilst the government has finally published this document – after years of deliberately procastinating – will there be sufficient training for the teachers who will be expected to deal with complex issues concerning male violence against women and girls?

I doubt it because adequate long-term funding is essential if we, as a society, are really serious about challenging ingrained beliefs concerning male violence against women and girls.

I happen to know PSHE teachers are being given increased areas of responsibility concerning subjects such as male violence against women and are expected to deliver these lessons with little or no support or adequate training.

sianmarie // Posted 25 November 2009 at 11:40 am

saranga – womensaid have done an amazing pack of lesson plans for 5-15 year olds on this subject, hopefully this will get picked up by teachers. a really invaluable resource.

Bristol readers – there is a vigil in Queen’s Square from 4.30, i can’t make it but should be good. and also, check out the jamaica street wall mural – PRSC let BFN and friends paint it, jan martin did an incredible design and the result is an affecting and strong visual message. it will be up all month.

Jackie Bather // Posted 25 November 2009 at 2:06 pm

I’d like to echo saranga’s astute comment, re:the training given to the staff implementing the programme.As someone who has personal knowledge of domestic violence (in the past,many years ago) I can think of nothing worse than a child having the courage to express their fears and this being handled badly.Since this is an issue often kept secret, children could be placed in danger, by exposing what is going on at home.

Claire // Posted 25 November 2009 at 10:36 pm

Whilst DV maybe be on the curriculum for teacher training as a policy issue, it seems to be like a lot of government policy on DV: great in theory but not delivered in practice. The attitude of my own children’s school is a case in point. I was speaking to a DV survivor there today whose husband has persuaded the headmaster (a man) to telephone him EVERY DAY that the ex wife has parental responsibility to say what time she collects the children (they have flexible pick up times and homework clubs). The ex wife has had no allegations made against her regarding her parenting or otherwise, but here is a school co-operating with an abusive partner to control the mother’s behaviour. THe mother has had to pay for a solicitor to write a warning letter to the school. Not only does this cost her, but it also endangers her relationship with the school and makes her feel vulnerable. It really depends on the quality of the training. If the government gives grants to well trained representatives of Women’s Aid to do this, that’d be good. If it’s some half-baked trainer who hasn’t had proper training themselves then the training could back-fire. I have asked the headmaster to invite Women’s Aid for current staff training: the fish rots from the head. If the older teachers in influential positions aren’t getting the training, then the training is lost on the new graduate trainees.

harry // Posted 25 November 2009 at 10:42 pm

I happen to know PSHE teachers are being given increased areas of responsibility concerning subjects such as male violence against women and are expected to deliver these lessons with little or no support or adequate training.

I normally agree with your comments but on this one you are flat out wrong. See my earlier comment above.

saranga // Posted 26 November 2009 at 8:56 am

thanks for the info guys!

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