Refuge marks the end of #16Days of activism against gender-based violence

On Saturday 10 December 2016, International Human Rights Day, Refuge wrapped up its #16Women social media campaign for the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence with a quote from ‘Stacey’ on how one of our youth advocates supported her.

10 December StaceyFor the last 16 days, women’s rights advocates and activists across the globe have been campaigning to call for an end to violence against women and girls.

This year, Refuge recognised the 16 days of action period by sharing the stories of #16Women who have used its services through our social media channels. We have spread the word about 16 amazing, resilient, brave and courageous women and raised awareness of the wide-ranging specialist services we run.  Today our services are supporting over 4,600 women, men and children on any given day.  Here are some of the highlights and results from our #16Women social media campaign.

 

29 November Sarah

‘Sarah’, a survivor of domestic violence who stayed in one of our refuges, spoke of how she was moved to tears by our service staff. And ‘Simone’ said: “I felt guilty and thought I was doing something wrong. Eventually I found Refuge. The woman there explained that you don’t have to be beaten to be abused. I nearly cried when she told me what was happening wasn’t my fault.”

At Refuge, we recognise that every woman and child experiencing domestic violence has different individual needs.  There is no single package of services to meet those needs – there is no ‘one size fits all.’  Over the #16Days we wanted to share more information about the variety of services we offer women who have experienced domestic violence.

7 December Kay

‘Kay’ spoke of how her independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA) supported her through the court process.  Refuge’s IDVAs support victims of domestic violence who are at the highest risk of serious injury or homicide. Find out more about Refuge’s advocacy work. Kay’s message reached more than 4,234 people on Twitter and 2,700 people on Facebook.

‘Louise’ accessed one of Refuge’s outreach services. She said: “We talked about everything I had been through and she helped me to understand that my former partner’s behaviour was all about power and control. With her support, I made a plan to stay safe.” Our community outreach workers meet women in their homes, or in a discreet place in the community, to offer confidential support on a range of practical and emotional issues. Louise’s story reached 3,615 people on Twitter and nearly 4,000 on Facebook.

1 December Julie

We support women and girls experiencing all forms of gender-based violence, and our #16Women campaign reflected the broad range of our work.

We shared the story of ‘Julie’, for example, who experienced FGM.  With the support of her Refuge key worker, Julie was able to get her life back on track. Read more about FGM, its physical and psychological effects and find out whether you might be at risk and how you can access support.

26 November Anh

Anh’s story about being trafficked from Vietnam to the UK received a great deal of online support. Anh in her quote said “I can smile again.” Her story reached more than 8,000 people on Twitter, and nearly 3,500 people on Facebook.

Another well received story we shared was Meera’s story – she explained how her case worker supported her to access a counsellor who spoke Hindi, so that she could talk through her experience fully. Her story reached nearly 1,000 people on Twitter and nearly 3,500 on Facebook.

Thank you to everyone who supported and shared our important #16Women campaign material.  We have spread information about our work far and wide and as a result many women will be more informed and able to reach out and access support.

As well as sharing our own content, Refuge played a key part in other important conversations about Violence Against Women and Girls. On Thursday 8 December we followed the Violence Against Women and Girls Debate in Parliament, live tweeting powerful statements from politicians including Seema Malhotra, Maria Miller, Michelle Thomson, Sarah Champion, Jess Phillips, Mims Davies, Tracy Brabin, Angela Crawley and Jim Shannon. We also visited the Home Office as part of its work around #16Days, telling staff about our services and our latest campaigns and policy work.

To check out all the stories of the #16Women who took part in our #16Days campaign, please visit our Facebook and Twitter pages.

To support Refuge’s life-changing, life-saving work supporting many like these #16Women, find out the ways you can get involved.