We tend to hear much about the violence suffered by women at the hands of men, but what about the stories of those who fight back?
The Istanbul Feminist Collective is a great example of a lobbying movement that has chosen to focus not purely on the negative side of what is a bleak affair, of male violence, but indeed on the positive and empowering side, in this case: on stories of women’s self-defence. The organisation aims to change the way in which victims of male violence are represented in the media. They do this not only by protesting, but also by publishing reports with women’s stories on pending cases and court decisions: Women Reclaim Their Lives, Jan — June ‘15.
The Czech Women’s Lobby recognises and supports such action. Male violence against women is a serious concern that does not receive the attention that it is due, all around the world. Within Europe, almost half of all women have suffered from men’s violence (45%), and whilst the cost of domestic violence is estimated at 16 billion Euros per year, amounting to 1 million Euros every half hour, the annual EU member states’ budgets for prevention programmes of male violence are 1000 times less (EWL).
These shocking statistics show why ground level civilian movements such asIstanbul Feminist Collective are so important and necessary. Regards this human rights abuse, the Czech Republic is no exception. According to Radio Praha, nearly 1 in 2 women have experienced domestic abuse. NGO ProFem’s research reveals that about a third of those women are afraid to speak up. This is undeniably linked to the fact that 69% of Czech women surveyed believe that the measure in place to prevent domestic violence is insufficient.
An emphasis on the empowerment of women in their self-defence in such cases of domestic abuse is important as it encourages others to follow suit and speak out. The media is a strong tool to share stories and spread such notions.