Today, 25 November, is White Ribbon Day and the start of 16 Days of Action to End Violence Against Women and Girls, and Victim Support will be carrying out a number of activities during this time. #AllMenCan make a difference is the message for this year.

Together we must end violence against women, and men especially must take a stand. Now, more than ever, we need men to stand up and make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

This year we have seen more high profile murders of women. Since March, at least 77 women have tragically lost their lives in circumstances where a man is held as a suspect or is awaiting trial.

Here are just a few statistics to show why action is needed now.

  • On average, two women a week are killed by their partner or ex-partner.
  • 29% of women will experience physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner at some time in their life.
  • 24,000 girls are at risk of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation)
  • In 2019/2020, there were 2,024 so-called ‘Honour’-based abuse related offences recorded by the police. Of these, there were 74 FGM offences and 140 forced marriage offences. This will likely be a huge underestimate of the real figures.
  • Domestic abuse is experienced by disabled women more frequently than non-disabled women.

Victim Support is committed to ending violence against women and girls. We provide essential victim-focused services to women and girls affected by violence, and over the past year we have seen a significant rise in the number of survivors coming to us for support after experiencing domestic abuse. In some areas we also work with men who have perpetrated violence against women to address the underlying behaviour.

During the 16 days campaign, we’ll be raising awareness of support services available for women and girls, and sharing stories of women who have experienced male violence. We’re proud to support the 16 Days of Action and to give a much-needed voice to survivors of violence and abuse.

If you’ve been affected by gender-based violence or know someone who has, you can get in touch any time by calling our free and confidential Supportline on 08 08 16 89 111 or starting a live chat with a trained supporter.

You can also access our interactive self-support guides on My Support Space. Find out more about the guides available whether you’re experiencing domestic abuse or are supporting someone going through it.

Valerie Wise, Victim Support national domestic abuse lead