UN Women: End Violence Against Women

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women 2021

PSA Public Service Announcement

Source: UN Women

The UN marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls this Thursday 25 November.

The Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against Women issued by the UN General Assembly in 1993, 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 in 10 women goes to the police for help. But when they go they are not believed, or treated properly as victims of trauma.

Stopping this violence starts with believing survivors, adopting comprehensive and inclusive approaches that tackle the root causes, transform harmful social norms, and empower women and girls.

With survivor-centred essential services across policing, justice, health, and social sectors, and sufficient financing for the women’s rights agenda, we can end gender-based violence.

16 days of activism

During the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women UN Women will launch the Unite to End Violence Against Women campaign (Nov 25- Dec 10) — an initiative of 16 days of activism ending on the day that marks the UN International Human Rights Day, on the 10th of December.

This campaign, led by the UN Secretary-General and UN Women since 2008, aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world, calling for global action to increase awareness, promote advocacy and create opportunities for discussion on challenges and solutions.

Among its activities, there is a UN official event that will take place on November 24 from New York, 10.00-11.30am ET.

You can follow the webinar online through the UN Women’s website by registering in advance.

The campaign also includes the launch of a new report with updated data on gender violence, as well as a multitude of digital initiatives where the public can participate.

A woman’s right to live free from violence is upheld by international agreements such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the 1993 UN Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women.


"Concerned that some groups of women, such as women belonging to minority groups, indigenous women, refugee women, migrant women, women living in rural or remote communities, destitute women, women in institutions or in detention, female children, women with disabilities, elderly women and women in situations of armed conflict, are especially vulnerable to violence." UN Declaration on Elimination of Violence Against Women, 1994

Only 40 per cent of women seek help of any sort after experiencing violence, and so we advocate for, and support, women and girls’ access to quality, multi-sectoral services essential for their safety, protection and recovery, especially for those who already suffer multiple forms of discrimination.

Violence against women is a human rights violation that takes place every single day around the world. Globally, one in three women experiences physical or sexual violence, mostly by an intimate partner. While domestic violence and abuse are sometimes hidden, if we know the signs of an abusive relationship, we may be able to recognize it better and seek or offer help.

What are some common signs of abuse?

  • Your partner keeps track of everything you do. They monitor where you are and whom you are with at all times. They prevent or discourage you from seeing friends, family, or going to work or school.

  • You partner insists that you reply right away to their texts, emails, and calls, and demands to know your passwords to social media sites, email, and other accounts.

  • An abusive partner may act jealous, including constantly accusing you of cheating. They may attempt to control how you spend money and your use of medications or birth control. They may make everyday decisions for you, such as what you wear or eat.

  • They may be demeaning. They may put you down by insulting your appearance, intelligence, or interests. They may try to humiliate you in front of others and attempt to destroy your property or things that you care about.

  • An abusive partner may act angry or have a quick or unpredictable temper, so you never know what might cause a problem. They may blame you for their violent outbursts and physically harm or threaten harm to you, themselves, and members of your household, including children or pets.

  • They may hurt you physically, such as hitting, beating, pushing, shoving, punching, slapping, kicking, or biting. They may use, or threaten to use, a weapon against you.

  • They may be sexually abusive, including rape or other forced sexual activity. They may incorrectly assume that consent for a sex act in the past means that you must participate in the same acts in the future. They may also incorrectly assume that consent for one activity means consent for increased levels of intimacy. For example, an abuser may assume that a kiss should lead to sex every time.

  • An abusive partner may threaten to turn you in to authorities for illegal activity if you report the abuse, or if you resist.

    Subscribe now

    Watch all our past interviews here.

    Share The UN Brief