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5. Stuff the stigma

Violence against women is hidden through shame and silencing. Silence has a way of stigmatising and condoning gendered violence.

Stuff the stigma: Violence against women is hidden through shame and silencing. The more we share our stories, the more we can reduce the stigma and move towards collective action to create safer spaces. Together, we can make a difference.

Stuff the stigma

Violence against women is hidden through shame and silencing.
Silence has a way of stigmatising and condoning gendered violence.

Download the poster today

Sharing our stories

When violence is a whispered secret between women, it’s easier for perpetrators to choose violence, knowing it will stay ‘private’.

When victim-survivors share their stories, others feel empowered to speak out too. The flood of stories that we’ve seen in recent years — #metoo and #whyistayed and #whyIdidntreport — can be triggering but bringing these stories into the light has resulted in structural change: funding from governments, new research into prevention, new strategies for education and programs for men’s behavioural change.

When someone shares their story with you, whether it’s in person or on social media, the first step is to believe them and listen without judgement.

The more we share our stories, the more we can reduce the stigma and move towards collective action to create safer spaces. Together, we can make a difference.

Useful resources for victim-survivors:

  • 24-hour national sexual assault, domestic and family violence counselling and information referral service: 1800-RESPECT (1800 737 732)
  • Sexual Assault Crisis Line: 1800 806 292
  • And during the week, between 9.30am and 4.30pm you can call WIRE on 1300 134 130.
  • WIRE’s Lived Experience article series: where individuals with lived experience share their stories. (If you would like your story to be considered, please complete the consent form and submit your story via our online form.)

About the 16 Days of Activism

Every year, between November 25 — the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women — and December 10 — International Human Rights Day — there are 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence.

This year we’ve created a series of posters for you to print out at work, home or your local library, and to put up in your kitchen, community hall, meeting room at work — wherever you like. Help create a world where women, nonbinary and gender-diverse people are safe, respected, empowered and able to make genuine choices in their lives.

Violence towards women, nonbinary and gender-diverse people is a community problem. Everyone in the community, from schools to sporting clubs, can play a role in changing the structures, norms and practices that lead to gender-based violence.

Some of these actions will be individual and some will be collective: gender-based violence is a structural issue that we all need to work together to address.

View the rest of our posters for 2019 »

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