The 25th of November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG). It is an important global campaign that seeks to raise awareness about gender-based violence and advocate for the prevention and elimination of all forms of violence.. 

The date November 25th, was chosen in order to commemorate political activists from the Dominican Republic, the Mirabal sisters, who were brutally assassinated on November 25, 1960, on the orders of the Dominican ruler Rafael Trujillo.

It is important to raise awareness in schools about VAWG in order to strive for a better future in which there is less violence. 

Violence against Women and Girls

In the UK and worldwide, VAWG is a massive issue with more and more women falling victim to violence each and every day.

Recently the Independent Taskforce for Violence Against Women and Girls, produced a report that showed “most women” in Jersey experience some form of gender-based violence.

Similarly, in Australia, 21-year-old water polo coach Lilie James, was murdered by a colleague with whom she had recently ended a relationship.

Violence can take many forms including:

  • Physical violence
  • Sexual violence
  • Psychological violence
  • Emotional violence
  • Financial violence and abuse 

This violence can be perpetrated by anyone, from intimate partners to family members to complete strangers. 

It is important to understand that this violence influences the experiences of women and girls. Not only do they experience violence themselves or see violent acts committed against fellow  women, but it also creates an environment where women and girls feel unsafe which may cause them to change their behaviour, which limits their freedom as a direct result.

The Role of Education in Preventing Violence

Education plays an important role in preventing violence by fostering awareness, empathy, and critical thinking. Education can give students the knowledge and skills to recognise, challenge and reject violence haviour. 

Ways to combat violence with education include:

  • Address the root cause of violence
  • Confronting harmful stereotypes that create unequal power dynamics
  • Reshape societal norms that contribute to gender-based violence
  • Promoting healthy relationships to teach students how to reject negative stereotypes
  • Emphasize the importance of consent and healthy communication.

Early intervention is extremely important for breaking the cycle of VAWG by identifying and addressing signs of aggression, control, or abusive behaviours in their early stages, educators and communities can intervene before patterns of violence become deeply entrenched.

Practical Tips to Educate your Students on Violence 

Educating children and young people to understand that violence against others is inappropriate is vital. Especially that violence against women and girls is particularly prevalent and we must help eliminate violence in the future.

Here are some ways to better educate your students:

  • Support students to understand the duality of social media so they recognise that it can be helpful to campaign against violence against women and girls. Raise awareness of social media as a tool to spread hate and sexist messaging.
  • Educate your students about consent and boundaries both in and out of intimate relationships.
  • Identify and challenge gender stereotypes and encourage  open discussion about them with your students
  • Encourage all students to speak out against violence and report any violence through the correct channels. See our blog on Active and Passive Bystander: Taking a Stand Against Inappropriate and Abusive Behaviour 

These tips are just a few to help you educate students on violence against women. 

Resources for Teaching about Eliminating Violence

When teaching about preventing violence against women it is important to make sure your resources do the following:

  • Are age-appropriate 
  • Foster open and non-judgement discussions
  • Collaborate with the wider community
  • Promote positive role models.

We have created a resource for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.  This resource is a lesson that includes:

  • Tricky questions when educating students on violence against women
  • The main messages of the awareness day
  • Examples of violence against women
  • Interesting statistics
  • Activities for the class.

You can download the lesson HERE