Friday 25 November is International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and is an opportunity for us to raise awareness of the importance in preventing and responding to violence against women and girls.
We’re supporting the day because as an institution we have committed to tackle and prevent gender-based violence and all other forms of hate incidents affecting staff and students.
As we are all too aware, violence against women and girls remains a pervasive problem worldwide. Every 11 minutes, a woman or girl is killed by an intimate partner or family member.
Women and girls also face rampant online violence, from misogynistic hate speech, to sexual harassment, image abuse and grooming by predators.
This discrimination, violence and abuse targeting half of humanity comes at a steep cost. It limits women’s and girls’ participation in all walks of life, denies their basic rights and freedoms, and blocks the equal economic recovery and sustainable growth our world needs.
Now is the time for transformative action that ends violence against women and girls.
Over the years, Edinburgh Napier University’s commitment to tackling gender-based violence has seen us introduce the Report and Support online platform, deliver a Zero Tolerance campaign and provide resources to support in-person and online training for our staff and students.
However, our commitment to tackle gender-based violence requires everyone in our community to accept their responsibility and play their part. This involves understanding your responsibilities, signposting colleagues or students to resources and to services, and understanding how to be an active bystander to de-escalate or step in when you see or hear unwanted behaviours. We particularly encourage our male colleagues and students to engage in the conversation.
We all want Edinburgh Napier to be a safe place to study and to work so please take the time to remind yourself about the resources, policies and reporting pathways available. By coming together and acting as one, we can make Edinburgh Napier as safe as possible – a place where we take a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based violence and hate crime.
International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women also marks the beginning of 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence and we’re calling on staff, students and the whole Edinburgh Napier community to unite as we work together to tackle sexual harassment and violence.
Over the coming weeks we’ll share more about how to get involved but in the meantime please take some time to look at the resources available above.