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Pongámonos de pie y digamos ‘basta’ a la violencia

Enough! This is what we have to say, today and every day, to all forms of violence against women and girls.

Enough with domestic violence. Enough with the rapes. Enough of harmful practices like female genital mutilation. And impunity is enough for one of the most flagrant and widespread human rights violations.

Women and girls around the world have the absolute right to be free from violence. They have the right to peace at home, in public spaces and online.

Today, which is celebrated as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, is a moment in which all of us must pause to remember how much progress we still have to make on this issue. Surprisingly, one in three women and girls continues to experience violence at some point in her life.

And this year COVID-19 has stoked the fire. With women confined to home along with their abusers and with high levels of stress at home, the number of calls for help has skyrocketed. And many of them went unanswered because many shelters and other services closed, but also because the assistance available is often insufficient, even in humanitarian crisis situations.

We must do better. It is time to stand up and say enough to violence not just on one particular day, but 365 days a year. We must prevent violence. Until we can end it, we must provide women and girls with everything they need to survive and recover, from physical and mental health care to legal assistance to support to regain their livelihoods.

In more than 130 countries, UNFPA teams are working tirelessly to help stop violence against women and girls and support those who are affected. Last year, UNFPA provided medical or psychosocial care services to more than 760,000 survivors of violence. In humanitarian settings, in the first 10 months of 2020 alone, our prevention and response efforts reached 2.8 million women and girls.

But even with all of the above, the international community needs to do more. COVID-19 has revealed, in a painful but powerful way, all the ways in which we need to think and act differently. And saying enough to violence is at the top of the list. To do this, we must begin by recognizing how widespread violence is in all societies, in addition to attacking the factors that promote it.

No more assumptions that violence is permissible or it will go away on its own. Enough treating violence as something less than a large-scale crisis that we must stop by doing everything in our power.

Enough. One word to transform our world.