Today the color of our heart is orange

by | November, 2019

Orange the World, is a worldwide campaign to stop violence against women. This campaign is supported by various NGO’s and (inter-) national organizations. In this period, the color Orange symbolizes attention for this subject. Up to December 10, various buildings & companies have been highlighted with orange lamps to ask for focus on this subject. Various activities are organized by, among others,  several Dutch organizations to draw attention to this matter, striving for  optimization of Human Rights & Gender Equality.

One in three women worldwide has (had) to deal with some form of violence. One in three is an alarming high rate that deserves our attention & support. So that we can reduce this violence against women and girls and ultimately eliminate it. In the context of a worldwide campaign from various international organizations, extra attention is requested for this topic in the period 25-Nov to 10-Dec. A topic that we all recognise and know, male or female, father or mother, son or daughter.

Which one of three? 

Results from the research report ‘Violence against women’* by FRA*, show the necessity that we must stop violence against women immediately. Some results:

  • 45% of all women experienced physical and / or sexual violence in her life.
  • Almost three-quarters (73%) were sexually intimidated.
  • One in ten women was raped in her life.
  • One in five women has ever been physically abused by a partner or former partner.
  • 11% of the women experienced sexual violence by a partner or former partner.
  • 3% of women avoided their own home in the past year out of fear of violence.
  • One in four women once experienced stalking.
  • One in three young women (18-29 years old) experienced some form of cyber-intimidation

Beyond the shame

This data is alarming enough, and as a woman I feel compelled to ask you for extra attention.

As a former student in Utrecht, you experience different things. And because you think ‘that is how it should be’, you realize later what actually happened. Which of your limits were not respected. But because it’s so ‘part of it’, and there’s a lot of taboo and shame about it, women don’t always dare to be open about it. ‘You must have caused it yourself’ is not just a reaction from others. But one that directly targets shame and guilt.

From observer to supporter

To break down the silences around shame, guilt & taboo, it is imperative that we talk & listen to each other in mutual respect. What do you do when you suspect something, where can you go, who is there for you when you feel that something is wrong?

This period with extra attention, we at Xellens (in Orange) will make this a respected topic where you meet us. As an supporter, not only as a silent wittness.

* European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights
* Selection: 42.000 women (EU), of which 1.500 Dutch, 8 – 74 years of age

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