The Commission on Gender Equity kicked off 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence on Monday along with other city agencies for the global initiative to raise awareness for the cause and to get leaders within the government, community groups, corporations and the public sector to eliminate that type of brutality.
To join the movement, the commission, which is a part of the Mayor’s Office, has four steps that people can use to get informed, learn how to be a support system for victims of gender-based violence, how to use resources to help sufferers of abuse and how to host campaigns to bring awareness on the issue, according to First Lady Chirlane McCray.
“Every day, we witness people bravely sharing their stories of persistence and survival in the face of misogyny, sexual violence, and harassment. Their courage is contagious and it powers a movement for lasting change,” said McCray. “In New York City, we are meeting this historic moment with our own action and leadership by uplifting survivors, connecting them to support, and working to prevent violence.”
In 2018, more than 12,000 people from Queens and the other boroughs participated in outreach events and programs to address gender-based violence, according to the commission.
“Violence against an individual based on their gender or sexual identity is not to be tolerated and each of us must do what we can to eliminate this scourge from our nation and the world,” said Councilwoman Karen Koslowitz (D-Forest Hills).
Councilwoman Adrienne Adams (D-Jamaica) appreciated the work that participants in the campaign were doing.
“Gender-based violence exists across cultures and communities,” said Councilwoman Adrienne Adams. “The 16 days of activism campaign is a positive step toward shifting the culture of gender-based violence. Working collectively, we can drive change for every victim and survivor of gender-based violence.”
Girls of color, people within the transgender community and the gender-nonconforming individuals are often the targets of gender-based violence, according to CGE Commissioner Carlina Rivera.
Studies show that 25 percent of women are still harassed at the workplace, according to Emily May, co-founder and executive director of Hollaback!, an activist group that fights against harassment.
“Traditional sexual harassment training has been unable to move the needle,” said May. ” The EEOC identified bystander intervention and workplace civility training as best practices – and this year we’re hoping to double the number of people trained and move the needle on this issue.”
Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights) wants the campaign to one day put an end to gender-based violence.
“Women deserve to be safe in their homes, schools, workplaces, and elsewhere in our communities,” said Dromm. “Campaigns like these uplift survivors, help stop gender-based violence before it happens, and ensure that all stakeholders do their part to end it once and for all.”