Diplomats and ombudswoman wore orange on Monday

The UN campaign targeting violence against women runs until December 10.

The United Nations launched its Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape! campaign on November 25, 2019. Embassies in Slovakia, the European Commission representationa and Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová also showed their supportThe United Nations launched its Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape! campaign on November 25, 2019. Embassies in Slovakia, the European Commission representationa and Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová also showed their support (Source: FB USA and Slovakia)

The United Nations launched its Orange the World: Generation Equality Stands against Rape! campaign on November 25, which is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

A total of 12 embassies in Slovakia alongside Slovakia’s Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová have also supported the global initiative and condemned any form of violence against women on social media.

“The scale of the problem is alarming: One in three women in Europe has experienced physical and/or sexual violence,” said the European Commission (EC) and High Representative Federica Mogherini, as quoted in the press release. The EC and its representations supported the initiative, too.

The campaign has run around the world since 1991 to increase awareness and eliminate violence against women and girls, focusing on any form of rape in 2019.

Čaputová calls for systemic measures

To mark the day, President Zuzana Čaputová received representatives of non-governmental organisations dealing with violence against women.

"What our country needs is to continue in systemic measures of individual institutions, and to make this a subject of interdepartmental thinking and solutions," Čaputová told the media following the meeting, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

One third of people in Slovakia consider violence against women acceptable, Čaputová noted and said that further work on public opinion is needed. She also noted that it is particularly striking in connection with the recent murder case.

EU against gender-based violence

The Embassies of Austria, Canada, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the USA have expressed their solidarity in Slovakia by wearing orange. It is the symbolic colour of violence against women.

In the EU, 22 percent of women have experienced either physical or sexual violence, or even both, by a partner, the EU Fundamental Rights Agency survey on violence against women found in 2014.

“It is our responsibility as the EU and international community, to keep our commitment to preventing, openly rejecting and condemning all acts of violence against women and girls,” Mogherini went on.

Up to 74 percent of Europeans think domestic violence is common but a small number of them speak about it, the EC’s Eurobarometer on gender-based violence from November 2016 found.

“It is our duty also to support and protect the victims by creating a safe environment for them to report the crimes committed against them,” Mogherini added.

Patakyová mentions the recent murder

Slovakia’s Ombudswoman Mária Patakyová wrote on her Facebook page that violence against women in any form represents a significant encroachment on human dignity and threat to the well-being of women.

“Last week, we were shaken by a report of the brutal violence against Viola,” the ombudswoman said. As a result of the attack by an unknown perpetrator, the woman died while being transported to the hospital.

Patakyová also expressed regrets over the fact that Slovakia does not use all the tools to protect victims concerned and prevents violence in society.

“The Convention on the Prevention of Violence against Women is clearly such an instrument but unfortunately, its main messages are misinterpreted,” she said.

The Orange the World campaign runs until December 10 when the world marks Human Rights Day.

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