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16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

The global 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign, which originates from the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute.

16 Days’, as it has become known, was launched 30 years ago and continues to be co-ordinated by the Center for Women’s Global Leadership. It is the most widely-recognised and longest running campaign for women’s rights in the world.

The dates for the campaign were chosen to link violence against women and human rights and emphasize that gender-based violence against women is a violation of human rights: Since 1991, the campaign has been active between 25 November, International Day Against Violence Against Women and 10 December, International Human Rights Day.

16 Days is an organising strategy for individuals and groups around the world to call for the elimination of all forms of gender-based violence against women and to:

  • Raise awareness about genderbased violence against women as a human rights issue at local, national, regional and international levels
  • Strengthen local work around genderbased violence against women
  • Establish a clear link between local and international work to end genderbased violence against women
  • Provide a forum in which organisers can develop and share new and effective strategies
  • Demonstrate the solidarity of women around the world organising against genderbased violence against women
  • Create tools to pressure governments to implement commitments to eliminate genderbased violence against women.

Over 6000 organisations in approx. 187 countries have participated in the global 16 Days campaign since 1991, with a reach of 300 million.


  • To support the 16 Days campaign in its aim to amplify the work of women all over the world and shift from awareness to accountability by putting lived experience and the voice of service users* at the heart of all campaign communications.
  • To engage public and professional support to go beyond 16 days to all 365 days a year, advocating an adequate shift in practice to end violence against women by launching our Network of DASV Champions in CIOS and inviting applications.
  • To promote the campaign’s theme around the link of domestic abuse and the world of work by engaging workplaces with DASV and the impact it has on those affected. This includes the launch of mandatory DASV training for Cornwall Council employees.
  • To strengthen the focus on ending femicide by building dialogue around improving safety for women and girls through radical systemic and cultural shifts so that genderbased violence against women is a universally unacceptable act.

* This includes people affected by DASV who are disengaged with services or unable to access provision for whatever reason.

Communication objectives

  • To raise awareness of the provision of support for people affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence (DASV) in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly (CIOS), paying particular attention to the range of demographics and the differences between people’s lived experiences of DASV so that this is a homogenous presentation.
  • To improve the institutional response to domestic abuse by conveying best practice and standards for commissioning responses across CIOS and the SW peninsular.

Key messages

  • Ending DASV is everyone’s business / #don’tbeabystander
  • Misogyny and VAWG are unacceptable cultural shift needed and behaviour change

Expected outcomes

  • Increased awareness and understanding of services in CIOS for those affected by DASV including Safer Futures.
  • Increased commitment to the cause and motivation for all those working in DASV services across CIOS and SW Peninsula.
  • Increased engagement by front-line professionals outside DASV specialist agencies for supporting people affected by DASV, understanding risk and signposting to services.
  • Increased adoption of best practice by workplaces across CIOS and the SW Peninsular for supporting colleagues affected by DASV.
  • Increased campaigning around the impact of gender-based violence and the need to work collaboratively to engender real systemic and cultural change to end DASV in CIOS, SW Peninsula, UK and worldwide.

Pledge activity

Moving from Awareness to Accountability and Action is key. Throughout the 16 Days of Activism, Cornwall will be asking employers and leaders for pledges of support for ending VAWG in CIOS.

Programme of activity
All events are free to attend

Day 1 – International Day for the elimination of violence against women


Anna MacGregor, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Co-ordinator, MARAC Chair, Cornwall Council & Practice and Partnerships Geographic Lead for Wales and the South West England, Office of the Domestic Abuse Commissioner will chair a panel to discuss how awareness raising, education and training are needed across communities to dismantle social and cultural norms that underpin gender inequality and misogyny. Joining Anna will be Sophie Naftalin, Partner, Bhatt Murphy, and Ben Beckerleg, Senior Investigating Officer, Devon and Cornwall Police

Action, accountability and change is needed from all members of our communities, across every level of society, to make a difference and have real impact in successfully reducing this longstanding threat to women and girls.

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Day 2

Safer Cornwall have developed a training package which will give bar staff the skills, confidence and strategies to spot vulnerability or people behaving inappropriately - and know what to say and do to achieve the best outcome in a given situation.

The training seeks to create a community of ‘active bystanders’ working in Falmouth, which will help build a resilient and safer night-time economy for all to enjoy.

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Day 6
Tues 30 Nov, 2pm

Online info session: DASV Champions Network

Safer Cornwall is launching a network of DASV Champions for CIOS. This is to empower front-line staff from different services to work together and improve accessibility and quality of support for victims and survivors of DASV.

To promote and encourage: Safe early intervention; Services working together; Victims’ access to all the resources they need without constantly retelling their story; Know-how for front-line practitioners wanting to provide better support to victims of abuse and their children; And added value - building on and maximising potential of existing resources.

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Day 7
Weds 1 Dec, 2pm

Online info session: Cornwall Council DASV and the workplace mandatory training for managers and e-learning for all staff.

With Anna MacGregor, DASV Coordinator and Julie de Groot, Senior Occupational Health Advisor, who have developed this training to better support colleagues and employees at Cornwall Council.

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Day 9

Laura Ball, DASV Strategy Manager, Cornwall Council chairs a panel looking at how employers can tackle DASV experienced by staff, in the workplace / home.

The event will look at how organisations can improve their infrastructure to better support employees / colleagues affected by DASV and how the pandemic has changed the landscape of the workplace and what working from home means for those affected by DA.

We’ll also be exploring how this impacts children and young people and how we can only change social and cultural norms to end violence against women and girls by leading by example in our own organisational cultures and structures.

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Day 13

With support from Home Office funding to improve safety of women and girls at night, Safer Cornwall have developed a training package which will give bar staff the skills, confidence and strategies to spot vulnerability or people behaving inappropriately - and know what to say and do to achieve the best outcome in a given situation.

The training seeks to create a community of ‘active bystanders’ working in Falmouth, which will help build a resilient and safer night-time economy for all to enjoy.

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Day 16


VAWG is not a country-specific issue – it crosses all borders and can affect women and girls of any age, nationality or background. Different cultural experience may, however, inform a woman’s confidence in reporting domestic abuse and sexual violence, and access to services and support.

This event asks this question to women from different nationalities and cultures to help us all understand a range of experiences and collaborate to ensure VAWG becomes a universally unacceptable act.

Susie Brown, Community Engagement Manager at the Women’s Centre Cornwall will provide an introduction to a series of filmed responses and invite discussion following viewing.

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Following on – 16th December


This event will introduce participants to the bystander approach and its effectiveness in supporting prevention efforts around domestic abuse and other forms of men’s violence against women. Hosted by Kerry Whincott, Behaviour change Coordinator, Cornwall Council and workshop facilitated by Graham Goulden, Cultivating Minds UK (Facilitator / Presenter).

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Other events