Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Stop Violence Against Women

It's International Stop Violence Against Women day - November 25. So this is a post I wish I didn't have to write. Because if there were no violence blighting the lives of girls, I'd be able to write about something more fun.

It's obviously not fun to cover this topic in our age range of 8-15. And most media for girls won't cover the topic. We don't want to scare girls. But we do want them to know that if they face violence, they aren't alone. And I determinedly "think positive" about the day when we won't need to prepare girls to protect themselves or to know how to help a friend or family member in danger.

Just imagine that day. Our daughters will be able to walk down the street, get on the bus or subway, and be safe anywhere. Their schools will be free of sexual and physical harassment. Arguments at home will be resolved without violence. TV and movies that include violence against women will seem unreal to girls because it's become part of history, like legal slavery.

Of course, we're not there yet. And so New Moon has a special piece that introduces girls to the significance of SVAW Day in an unsensational way. (We don't want to scare girls or make them feel that they are responsible in any way for violence against women.) It also gives accessible resources for girls (and their friends) who are experiencing violence or other forms of abuse. While no girl should have to deal with violence on her own, we know that every day girls are put in that situation.

We want them to feel supported by knowing that they aren't the only girl facing the problem and that there are people who will help them.

Until we succeed in making a world without violence against women and girls, that feels like the best thing we can do.

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