Annual “16 Days” Campaign Against Gender Violence Concludes

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ—Today marks the final day of a Rutgers Center for Women's Global Leadership's (CWGL) annual campaign known as "16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

The campaign, held every year since 1991, features events and rallies, and provides online information about how individuals and other organizations can get involved. 

This year's theme was, "From Peace in the Home to Peace in the World: Let's Challenge Militarism and End Violence Against Women!"

"As militarism continues to be a key source of gender-based violence… CWGL is engaging with 16 Days Campaign participants to challenge normalization of militarsm," read a campaign press release. 

The organization's website lists a broad base of goals that the campaign works for each year, including "raising awareness about gender-based violence as a human rights issue," "strengthening local work around violence against women," and "creating tools to pressure governments to implement promises made to eliminate violence against women."

The 16 Days Campaign began on November 25, also known as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, and concludes today, on International Human Rights Day.

Many student organizations have been involved with the 16 Days Campaign.

On November 23, Women Organizing Against Harassment (WOAH) paired with the New Brunswick community in hosting an event called "Project Blue",  in which participants decorated blue brazierres. 

During the Arab Spring protests, a female protestor was beaten, dragged and stripped, and was shown wearing a blue bra.  The blue bra has since become a symbol of solidarity. 

Money raised during Project Blue was donated to the Dina's Dwellings.  

On November 25, Trans*Missions, a newly formed organization that organizes for transgender equality, held "Unwrapping Violence: A Gift to the Trans* Community," where student panelists presented about violence against trans persons.

Then, on December 2, the Douglass Governing Council and Rutgers University Police Department held the Douglass Safety Walk, allowing members of the community to gauge safe and unsafe areas on Douglass Campus.

Recently, New Brunswick has been involved in similar intiatives against gender-based violence and domestic abuse. 

Though the city has stepped up efforts to aid victims of gender-based violence, the problems still persist.  The Rutgers and transgender communities mourned the loss of a murdered transgender activist named Eyricka Morgan earlier this year.

Women Aware, a Middlesex County-based domestic violence agency, has been working with elected officials and other providers to build housing for victims of domestic violence.

As we reported earlier this year, a new housing community, known as Dina's Dwellings, will "include 7 studio efficieny units, 1 one-bedroom and 2 two-bedroom apartments, specifcally built for domestic abusve survivors."

Editor's Note: The author of this article is a member of LLEGO: The LGBT People of Color Union at Rutgers, one of the organizations involved in the campaign.