The success of partnerships in creating change in the domestic and sexual violence space is well documented. At the local level, we have seen the lasting impact of outstanding initiatives like Coordinated Community Response—started in Duluth, Minnesota and then implemented worldwide—as well as the Family Justice Centers and other one-stop-shops for survivors. These partnership models have created lasting impacts, significantly improving survivors’ access to support. At the local level, there is still much more work to do, and service providers must continuously expand their partnerships with other organisations in the domestic and sexual violence space to affect long-lasting change.
Only by working together, we will break down the stigma surrounding domestic and sexual violence, call out myths around sexuality and relationships, and achieve a future without violence.
NO MORE was built on the idea that no one organisation alone can drive the culture change needed to prevent violence. In fact, the goal from the start was to break out of the existing, siloed ways of working, and instead integrate a global community of NGOs, leaders, changemakers, and more to learn from each other and affect change in their local communities. These examples of collaboration and partnership would then trickle down to our teachers, parents, coaches, and ultimately to the whole of society. We know that only by working together will we break down the stigma surrounding domestic and sexual violence, call out myths around sexuality and relationships, and achieve a future without violence.
More than ever before, we can reach people in every aspect of their lives through technology—in schools, when dating, at work, and beyond. If, in all of these moments, we could remind people about the harm and scale of domestic and sexual violence, we could educate many on recognising and preventing abuse.
But we can only do this if governments believe in and join transformative prevention efforts. We urgently need governments to value prevention work as highly as it does legislative reforms and the provision of services. National strategy plans must be comprehensive and invest in a long-term solution for preventing violence against women and girls. Progress has been made over the past 40 years, and if we want it to continue, we need political vision and leadership to ensure that our next generations experience gender equity and the know-how to recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships.
This battle is ours to win; but we need commitment, leadership, and acknowledgment of the existing progress to remind all delegates attending #CHOGM22 and partners around the world that we have the collective power to make a difference. We need to take a stand against violence against women and girls—an epidemic that affects 1 in 3 women worldwide—including our friends, families, and colleagues. Together, we can end domestic and sexual violence.