The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

November 20, 2013

Wear orange to support anti-violence campaign

Letter to the Editor

CLINTON — Did you know that nearly 35 percent of all women worldwide will experience either intimate-partner or non-partner violence?

A recent report from The World Health Organization highlights the need for all of us to engage in eliminating tolerance of violence against women and better support for women who experience it. New WHO guidelines aim to help countries improve their health sector’s capacity to respond to violence against women.

Violence against women is a global epidemic and a major contributing factor to women’s ill health and requires urgent action. As recently endorsed by the Commission on the Status of Women, it is time for the world to take action: a life free of violence is a basic human right, one that every woman, man and child deserves.

In an attempt to bring more attention to this violence, in 1991, the UN Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign proclaimed the 25th of every month as “Orange Day” — a day to take action to raise awareness and prevent violence against women and girls. Activists from around the world, governments and UN partners have organized Orange Day actions calling for safety from violence at homes, schools, work places and public spaces.

This year, the campaign is even more special for Say NO – UNiTE as they want to rely exclusively on social media. They are counting on the public to raise a tsunami of actions on online platforms. There are campaigns and events planned worldwide and The Sisters of St Francis Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking encourages you to get involved.

One simple way is to wear orange on Nov. 25, take a picture of yourself and post it on the Orange the World Facebook Event page with your message “I wear orange because…”

Become an activist for nonviolence — make this simple effort to demonstrate your support of this campaign. Who knows how it will spread the message and make a difference in the lives of women around the world.

The Sisters of St. Francis, Anne Martin Phelan, President, OSF; Eileen Golby, OSF; Gael Gensler, OSF; The Center for Active Nonviolence and Peacemaking; Laura Anderson; Sr. Nancy Miller; and Lori Freudenberg