11 December, 2015

The Dream of a Safer Future

Once again it’s the time for Christmas gifts and New Year’s resolutions. The YWCA of Finland wishes a safer world and promise to work for it.

During the year of 2015 we have read reports about violence. Reports have painted a grim picture of women’s lives in Finland. For example the amount of women who have experienced violence in EU countries is the second largest in Finland. And about 50% of 15-year-old girls have experienced psychological, physical or sexual violence, and that the rate for teenage girls’ suicides is the third highest in the world. That’s just way too much!

The YWCA of Finland wants to make a difference. Girls and women should be able to live without violence of any kind. That is why YWCA of Finland participates annually campaigns against violence. This year Light, no violence -campaign organised by EWL Observatory on Violence against Women spoke about psychological violence. Campaign ended on UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women when candles were lit around Finland for those women who suffered violence and even died because of it. YWCA of Finland also joined UN Women’s The Orange Day and World YWCA’s A Week Without Violence -campaigns.

But it’s not just campaigns; one of the YWCAs goals is to create safe places for girls and women. For example this fall the local YWCA in Helsinki established a place for schoolgirls so there would be a safe place to spend time after school. YWCA of Finland has also collaborated with trainer and self-defence book author; there was a self-defence course for the members of YWCA.

– It was empowering to learn that even as a small woman I’m able to protect myself. And all that it takes is to be observant and know how to use my own body, told one who attended self-defence course.