Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. The UN General Assembly chose this day to commemorate the lives of the Mirabal sisters. On 25 November 1960, the three Mirabal sisters were assassinated during the Trujillo dictatorship in the Dominican Republic. But gender-based violence does not only happen in undemocratic regimes.
Last week, the German government released a new report on domestic violence. In 2017,
- 147 women were killed by their (ex-)partner
- 138.893 persons were attacked by their (ex-)partner
Thus, a woman was killed by her (ex-)partner every third day. The German government advises women to reach out for help. They should call helplines and go to shelters. But is that enough? And what can men do who experience violence? They often do not speak about it because it makes them appear weak and vulnerable. Consequently, some of them turn their anger toward their female partner.
Domestic violence has many root causes. Not only our families and friends shape our behavior. Many media outlets, companies and politicians promote violence. They normalize it. Violence already starts with the way we speak to each other online and offline. It is the way we consume, how we earn our money and how we treat strangers.
Let’s be honest: We can all do better. Let’s be kind.