PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — Today, November 25 marks the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. It also marks the launch of 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence which concludes on 10 December, International Human Rights Day. This year it has developed an even greater significance as the Covid-19 pandemic has sparked an escalation in gender-based violence. Violence against women and girls is amongst the most widespread and devastating human rights violation in the world. One in three women and girls have experienced physical and/or sexual violence in their lifetime, according to figures of the United Nations (UN).
Violence against women and girls reveals itself in physical, sexual and psychological forms including intimate partner violence, sexual violence and harassment, human trafficking, female genital mutilation and child marriage. Too often, this violence goes unreported and unpunished due to the misconceptions and shame surrounding it.
As a community, we have to work together in creating an environment where all women and girls are equal and empowered women of society, free of all forms of discrimination and violence. By educating citizens and raising awareness, we continue to fight against all forms of violence.
Women’s Desk is one of the support services geared towards the empowerment and advancement of women on St. Maarten. Women’s Desk continues to strive for enhancing the well-being of women in the community and by extension their families by offering counseling, referrals, case management, information and enriching programs.
As we commemorate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, please remember abusive behavior is never acceptable. Every woman and girl deserves a life free from violence. If you or someone you know requires assistance, please contact the Women’s Desk at (721) 520-6291 or firstname.lastname@example.org