Think about your female friends and family – line them up and count by threes. Yes, fully one in 3, an estimated 35%, will experience gender-based violence.
This violence has been embedded in societies all over the world for centuries. It cuts across all lines of race and ethnicity, income and class: it is distressingly universal. Patriarchy requires dominance, and too often violence – against women and the LGBTQ community – is what follows from that dominance model.
To end GBV we need to work on the root causes, the underlying reasons for the violence, not just help those affected today.
For example, two root causes of perennial GBV are the fact that societies accept and reward men for dominance and encourage women to be subservient; and the fact that women suffer economic inequality because they are paid less, advance less frequently, and experience financial losses after motherhood. Both these social norms and this economic inequality can be changed.
Our goal is to to educate about the real root causes of this violence and shift the narrative away from victims to how society must change. For 15 years we held an annual walk to end GBV. Today, we continue to fundraise to spread this message and support other participating groups who work directly with those affected.
We use our platform to spread the word about the real causes of GBV and suggest what can be done to help. See, for example, our articles in the Sarasota Herald-Tribune in 2021 (“Let’s Take Action Against Intimate Partner Violence”) and 2020 (“To Combat Violence Against Women, Walk the Talk and Sweat the Small Stuff.”)