Thursday night together with the other IVLP participants I went to a Rally. It was organised by Rally Against Rape: a grassroots, community-action project dedicated to combating sexual violence and raising awareness about the prevalence of rape and sexual assault in the community of Northern Virginia. It is called Take Back The Night and Rally Against the Rape. We were curious about this community-organised activity. What will happen? How many people will be there?
Invited by EIGE, European Institute for Gender Equality, I travelled to Vilnius for a consultation meeting on Domestic Violence. Together with other national experts and stakeholders with about 19 different European backgrounds we discussed many tools and methods with potential in order to create a database on good practices in preventing domestic violence (as described by area D of the Beijing Platform for Action).
When I started my research about how different kinds of organisations, such as NGOs, Intervention Centres and Probation Services, address violence against women in the Netherlands, it extremely surprised me that they treat its many expressions as equally affecting men and women. Few of these organisations admit that the different types of violence, the domestic and the sexual for instance, are suffered by a higher percentage of women than men. The majority of them obviate this as well as the fact that a great part of the perpetrators are men.
When doing research on Intimate Partner Violence in The Netherlands, speechlessness is one of the biggest problems. Many victims do not want to talk about their experiences. Renée Römkens (1) emphasized this, during her very interesting seminar at Aletta: ‘Overcoming Speechlessness, Researching Violence in Intimate Relationships’.