On November 25, 1960, three sisters who were political activists in the Dominican Republic were assassinated. These murders were ordered by the Dominican dictator, Rafael Trujillo. This action was not forgotten and in 1981 women activists in Latin America and the Caribbean designated November 25 as a day of awareness for violence against women. Through their perseverance, and in recognition of this tragic event, an official resolution was signed by the United Nations General Assembly marking November 25th of each year as “International Day for the Elimination of Violence to Women.” This day also marks the beginning of a 16-day journey to promote awareness of violence and ends on December 10th with “International Human Rights Day.”
The United Nations has reported that during the COVID-19 pandemic, victims of domestic violence were “trapped” in their own homes. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stated: “For many women and girls, the threat looms largest where they should be the safest; in their own homes.” However, during the COVID-19 lockdowns and quarantines, many victims were at the mercy of their abusive partners. Tragically, violence to women and girls has reached epidemic proportions and continues to increase. Worldwide reports indicate that during the pandemic abuse, in many cases, became a daily occurrence. Secretary-General Guterres has encouraged all the Governments of the world to address this issue and make it a part of their national plans.
While worldwide reports are staggering, violence to women is not something that occurs only in faraway places. Unfortunately, it is a reality in our own backyards.
Advocacy begins in the local communities. Be vigilant! As is said, “If you see something – – say something.” Get involved! Our daughters, and the daughters of all our human family are depending on us! There are many websites with resource information. To start, Google: International Day of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence; the National Association of School Psychologists www.nasponline.org; contact local agencies with a focus on victim assistance, i.e., the county sheriff’s office is an excellent resource.
The LCUSA Advocacy Committee strongly supports awareness for human trafficking and domestic violence and encourages its associations to always be alert for victims. On November 25, 2022, and for the sixteen days that follow, let’s make an extra effort to become voices for those victims most vulnerable. We urge you to take some time for discernment and then decide what you can do, either as a group or individually.
“Proceed quietly, pray a great deal and act together.”
– St. Vincent de Paul