Borders asked to show their support for #16DaysofAction 2021

Yellow and purple shapes with words 16 days of action

Published: Thursday, 25th November 2021

Borderers are being asked to play their part in helping to tackle violence against women during this year’s #16DaysofAction from 25 November to 10 December.

The #16DaysofAction is a world-wide movement, founded in 1991 by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute. It begins on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women (Monday 25 November) and runs until International Human Rights Day (Tuesday 10 December).

A range of events are being co-ordinated across the 16 days by the Violence Against Women Partnership (VAW) with our support. There are a number of opportunities for individuals and communities to get involved, including the following: 

  • as the global theme for the 2021 campaign is ‘Orange the world – end violence against women now’, our Headquarters building will be floodlit orange on the evening of 25 November
  • a Reclaim the Night Candlelit Vigil will take place on 25 November at the Civic Space, Heart of Hawick from 6pm. Co-ordinated by Scottish Borders Rape Crisis Centre (SBRCC), the aim is to raise awareness of violence and harassment against women and others, and to show a united force alongside the local community
  • SBRCC is launching a new support service for women aged 18 and over who have experienced sexual violence. They will also be running a social media awareness raising campaign throughout the #16DaysofAction – follow them @SBRCC to find out more

Councillor George Turnbull, Executive Member for Public Protection and Chair of Police, Fire and Rescue, and Safer Communities Board

“The call to show our support for the #16DaysofAction campaign has never been more important. The pandemic continues to have a significant impact on those in our communities who are either experiencing or are at risk from gender based violence and demand for specialist services is high.

“I would urge us all to take responsibility, both individually and collectively, to do whatever we can to show our support. From taking part in a march to finding ways to make sure we’re far better informed about the impact of the issue in our local communities, every action helps. What’s absolutely critical though is that we all take a closer look at our own behaviour and attitudes - or those around us - and if we see there are changes we could make, to commit to making those happen.

“I would also like to remind anyone who is experiencing domestic abuse that they are not alone. There are people you can talk to. If you reach out, you can be sure there will be someone there to listen with the advice, information and help you need. There is information on our website but you can also phone the National Domestic Helpline: 0800 027 1234 (available 24-hours a day) and in an emergency, call 999.”

Scottish Borders White Ribbon Status Project

The #16DaysofAction also sees the launch of the Scottish Borders White Ribbon Status Project.

White Ribbon Scotland is a campaign that aims to involve men in tackling violence against women by encouraging them to never commit, condone or remain silent about violence against women. White Ribbon Status is awarded to communities and other similar bodies who demonstrate over a period of time that they have engaged in activities designed to educate men about violence against women and involved them in helping to bring this to an end.

A multi-agency Steering Group has been established that will work toward gaining White Ribbon Status for the Borders.

Dan Blake, Chair of the Steering Group and Operations Director at Berwickshire Housing Association

“We are currently developing a campaign that will actively seek to raise awareness, promote discussion and provide information and resources to support personal and collective action among men. By engaging with men and boys in taking action on the issue, the aim will be to challenge those attitudes and gender stereotypes that allow violence and abuse to continue to exist.”

More information, including how people can make their pledge, is available on the White Ribbon Scotland website.

More information

  • the #16DaysofAction campaign continues to be co-ordinated by the Women’s Global Leadership Institute and is used as an organizing strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls
  • further support for the initiative comes from the United Nations Secretary-General’s UNiTE by 2030 to End Violence against Women campaign (UNiTE campaign) which calls for global actions to increase awareness, galvanize advocacy efforts, and share knowledge and innovations