Marking 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence: Support for Survivors of Sexual Violence in Moray
Today, 25th November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the first day of the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, an international campaign which runs until 10 December (World Human Rights Day). This campaign calls for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.
According to recent global estimates published by the World Health Organisation in 2018, almost 1 in 3 women around the world have been subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, non-partner or both, at least once in their lifetime. Research subsequently commissioned by UN Women UK in January 2021 found that over 70% of women in the UK say they have experienced sexual harassment in public places. For young women aged 18-24, this figure increases to 97%. The World Health Organisation describes violence against women as a major public health problem and a violation of women's human rights.
At Moray Rape Crisis we are keen to play our part in the 16 Days of Activism by raising awareness about sexual violence and the services we provide to support people affected in Moray.
What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence means any form of unwanted sexual contact. You may hear different words for the varying forms of sexual violence, such as rape, sexual assault, childhood sexual abuse or sexual harassment. Other forms of sexual violence include stalking, sexual exploitation, forced marriage, image-based abuse and organised and ritual abuse.
Anyone can experience sexual violence at any time in their lives. It is difficult to know how many because many people never tell anyone and many do not report it to the police. Since 2018, at Moray Rape Crisis we have supported over 200 young people and adults across Moray, aged from 11 to 80, who have experienced sexual violence.
No right or wrong way to feel
Everyone is affected differently by sexual violence. This is no right or wrong way to feel. How you feel, and what you want to do, depend on your own experience.
Whatever you may feel now or whatever happened, you are not to blame. If someone has harmed you, it is not your fault. Whoever harmed you is responsible. Sexual violence does not ‘just happen’. A person makes a choice to commit sexual violence.
This person (or people) may be a complete stranger. But they are more likely to be someone known, such as a family member, partner, work colleague, or some other acquaintance.
Although there are different forms of sexual violence, the effects are similar because the experience is frightening, shocking, and can be confusing and difficult to cope with.
It is possible to heal from sexual violence. Moray Rape Crisis can help with this.
You do not have to cope with this on your own. Moray Rape Crisis provides non-judgemental, confidential and free support, advocacy and information to children, young people and adults aged 11 and over, who have experienced any form of sexual violence at any time in their lives. We will listen to what you say, believe you and treat you with respect.
If you have been affected by sexual violence, you can contact us for support at email@example.com or on 01353 550 407.
You can find out more about sexual violence and its impacts, and ways we can help, on our website: www.morayrapecrisis.scot.
We believe that anyone who has experienced sexual violence, regardless of their gender, age, race, religion or belief, sexual orientation, disability, or gender identity, is entitled to non-judgemental and confidential support.
We believe that no-one, regardless of behaviour, dress or lifestyle, is to blame for the violation which they experienced.
We believe that everyone should adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to any form of sexual violence.