Club of Veurne-Westhoek, Belgium
Domestic abuse is a gendered crime which is deeply rooted in the societal inequality between women and men. Intimate partner violence does not discriminate, and it can affect anyone; regardless of income, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion.
One in three women will be a victim of violence in her lifetime. The paths that lead to these crimes often start at home and within relationships that should be sanctuaries of trust and love.
The Soroptimists of Veurne-Westhoek, Belgium have a strong conviction that taking action can make the difference. They want to bring awareness to this issue, to educate, and to develop and implement prevention. They work with local organisations to ensure that women and girls have access to the support they need. The Soroptimists convened global leaders and change-makers to help make sure women and girls are understood, supported and fairly treated when they seek help or report abuse.
This initiative serves to guide women victims of domestic violence:
- Where to go and what to do in case of severe partner violence?
- How to cope with physical, psychological, sexual, economic and honour-related acts of violence?
The outcome and impact of this local action have been really encouraging. Indeed the Soroptimists have managed to spread their message widely; calls from female victims increased shortly after publications of various articles in the local press and broadcasting of interviews on television.
A lot of groundwork was done and meetings were organized with the local police and welfare centres, involving the design of orange flags sold for a fundraising project. Last but not least three orange-tinted gatherings were organized with the members of our clubs at different regional councils during the weekend of 24 and 25 November 2018.