One in three women in Europe has experienced physical and/or sexual violence since the age of 15 and more than 3,000 women are killed each year in Europe by partners or family members, and countless more are harmed and harassed. Violence against women and girls is a threat to half of humanity, online and offline. It affects all women and takes many forms, including physical, sexual, or psychological violence, as well as economic abuse and exploitation.

Every year on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women demands to renew the commitment to eradicate violence against women and girls, and call for action to stand in solidarity with victims and survivors.

The incoming and outgoing members of the European Regional Committee joined the global call to stop gender based violence and published a social media campaign on our Instagram and Facebook accounts.

Man to Man – a message

Yes, Not all men are violent abusers, most will never be. However, it’s undeniable that all men are aware of the cultural norms of masculinity, where violence often thrives. I firmly believe that all men bear a responsibility to address and challenge the culture. It’s true that crime stems from various sociological conditions – our upbringing, traditions, expectations, and group dynamics. But while it’s not a biological certainty that being male leads to predatory behavior, being gendered as a man carries a significant responsibility. This responsibility isn’t about being held accountable for other’s actions. Rather, it’s about being responsible for collectively shaping, living, and passing on the concept of manhood. It’s an ongoing journey to comprehend how I, as a man, should, could, and would act. This implies that destructive masculinity is open to change.

Recognizing that we’re not solely role models for young boys, but also for one another across different generations – including those who are now older. I can only summarize my sentiments in these words: “If not men, then who? If not now, then when?”

– from Agge Angusson, member of the ERC

Prayer for the Elimination of Gender Based Violence