16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence
From 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to 10 December, Human Rights Day, the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence Campaign is a time to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
These women have given us their stories and their experiences of violence against women and girls (VAWG).
Once again my lady from Women's aid spoke on the phone and made a plan of where we would meet, we agreed on a cafe out of town, somewhere that I was familiar with but not too far away. I would have to have an alibi as to where I was going and roughly how long I would be. On meeting her again there was no awkwardness, conversation came easy and she reassured me that it didn't matter that I hadn't made contact since our last meeting some two years previous. I remember her saying that some women would attempt to leave their abusive partners several times before successfully going it alone. We sat and talked over coffee again for a long time and discussed again what my options where. She told me pretty much the same as before but I think I was at a place where I was more open to any help I could get. We discussed the possibility of renting privately. It would give me more control as to where we ended up but it could be more difficult as I would be on benefits and a lot of landlords wouldn't accept that. We discussed the financial side of things as once I left I would no longer have access to the car and depending on where we ended up living possibly not even a job. There was also the possibility of being housed in temporary accommodation while putting my name down onto the council waiting list. It was a huge amount of information to take in again and my son and husband where totally unaware any of this was taking place.
It became apparent quite quickly that the dream of moving to the Highlands of Scotland and living in a picturesque rural location was not going to be the answer to our marital problems and that a change of lifestyle and location wasn't going to make them all go away. In fact, if anything, it only exasperated the problems. I was living several hundreds of miles away from family and friends and I would rarely see them. I'd had friends previously to the move but it was always made very difficult to maintain them as my husband would often disapprove for one reason or another. We were now living right in the sticks and with barely any internet and very little mobile coverage it meant that communicating with the outside world was often quite challenging. At that time the easiest way of keeping in contact with family and friends was through Facebook as I was able to have private conversations with my family, even if that did mean wandering around trying to find a spot where my mobile would pick up some network. I was quite lucky that I was able to drive and had use of our car whenever I needed it, so at least I could travel into the nearest small town which was 10 miles away. We could go days without seeing a soul. My husband worked from home about 80% of the time and with me not in employment we were constantly in each other’s company.
Being a young woman in today’s society is not easy. There are pressures from the media, society, friends and family… we don’t get a break!! The biggest driver is the media, making society think it’s acceptable to look at young women in a certain way. From the age of 16 till now being in my early 20’s I have been put in situations that could have been prevented if the media put forward a different view of women.