On November 25th, we observe the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, marking the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence. Each year, November 25th calls the world to action to change to the fact that worldwide, one out of every three women and girls will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime—and most frequently, at the hands of an intimate partner.
Here at MCEDV, we have focused on ending domestic violence since 1977. And while one doesn’t need to read further than the headlines of the daily papers to see that we all still have much to do, we have come a long way. Many people may not know that Maine was an early leader in the work to end abuse in this country, 40 years ago establishing one of the first domestic violence organizations in the United States. Others soon followed, and Maine’s domestic violence advocates have worked long and hard, joining with police officers, policy makers, teachers, sexual assault advocates, and countless other community partners to change our systems so that they both support victims and hold perpetrators accountable. Together, we have changed laws, challenged attitudes and belief systems that support abuse, and helped thousands of victims and their children achieve safety. One day at a time, we are building a better world for our children, right here on the ground in our state.
We are part of a movement. November 25th reminds us of that, calling us to reflect upon the work going on globally to end all forms of violence against women, and to recommit to our work to end violence here in Maine.
Won’t you join us?