HONOLULU — For more than 20 years, the YWCA has set aside one week in October as a Week Without Violence, one week when YWCAs across the country join with YWCAs around the world as part of a global movement to raise awareness to end violence against women and girls.
This year, Week Without Violence starts today and runs through Saturday, Oct. 24.
Women and girls of all ages experience gender-based violence in the form of sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, trafficking and stalking.
Hawai‘i has three YWCA associations, on Hawai‘i Island, Kaua‘i and O‘ahu. They are joining their voices to help spotlight this critical issue and issues that survivors face. Not all violence is acknowledged or responded to equally, and some victims go unrecognized altogether.
“COVID has definitely increased the risk of violence and assault in our community. Home is not always a safe place,” said Renae Hamilton-Cambeilh, executive director of the Kaua‘i YWCA. “Combined with being on a rural island, victims may believe they are trapped and have no access to the resources.”
Throughout this week, YWCAs across the country are asking people to join in national Week of Action activities. On Tuesday, Oct. 20, individuals can help raise awareness about gender-based violence against and support for survivors by taking a Week Without Violence campaign selfie using one of the fillable signs and post to their social-media, tagging #WWV20 and #YWCAOahu.
New data from YWomenVote2020 YWCA’s third national survey of women in the U.S. reveals that women around the country are deeply concerned about gender-based violence, and this concern is also impacting their views on voting. Issues such as keeping themselves and their families safe from gun violence and access to affordable health care were top areas for concern.
YWCA U.S. statistics
• Every 90 seconds, a woman is sexually assaulted;
• Out of 100 cases of rape, only 57 lead to arrests;
• Of that 57, only 11 are referred to prosecutors;
• Of that 11, only seven lead to felony convictions;
• Only half of domestic violence incidents are reported to police;
• Food-service and hospitality workers report the highest levels of sexual harassment in the workplace, and often have the least amount of employment protections;
• One in three girls is a victim of physical, verbal or emotional abuse;
• One of every four homeless women is homeless because of violence committed against her;
• One in four women will experience domestic violence and, on average, more than three women are murdered by their current or former partners every day.
YWCA Kaua‘i is the island’s only providers of 24-hours crisis services for domestic violence and sex assault, and provide the only family violence shelter.