The domestic violence charity Refuge has teamed up with cosmetics company Avon and launched a campaign they’re calling 1in4women. Here’s a link to the campaign site – 1in4women.com.

The campaign name is pretty much self explanatory: 1 in 4 women will experience domestic violence at some point in her life. And let’s not forget the other chilling statistic: two women a week are killed by a current or former partner.

Domestic violence has a higher rate of repeat victimisation than any other crime, and it has a devastating impact, on both victims and on their children. According to the statistics on the Refuge site for instance, in 90% of domestic violence incidents, children were in the same or the next room when the violence took place, and in over 50% of known domestic violence cases, children were also directly abused.

The campaign site has a link to a Facebook app, which if you allow it access to your Facebook account calculates for you how many of your female Facebook friends are likely to be at risk of domestic violence. I just had a go with it, and I have to say, even though I’ve known the dv statistics for years, and even though I could probably recite them in my sleep, I was really shocked by the number I was presented with. As with all forms of violence against women, putting real people, in this case your friends and your family, behind the statistics, really brings home to you what those prevalence rates actually mean. 1 in 4 women is more than just a number if you like, 1 in 4 women are real women, and they may well be women that you know.

The 1in4 site gives advice on how you can tell if someone you know is ‘experiencing’ domestic violence (the inverted commas are because I do have an issue with that particular terminology, but that’s for another discussion), and also gives advice on how you can support someone who is ‘suffering from abuse.’

Anyway, it’s an important campaign, and one I’m more than happy to promote as part of my 16 days of blogging against violence against women.

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