The 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence is an annual international campaign that kicks off on 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and runs until 10 December, Human Rights Day.

The campaign was started by activists at the inauguration of the Women’s Global Leadership Institute in 1991. It is used as an organising strategy by individuals and organizations around the world to call for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls.

We know that it can be difficult to know how best to respond when someone confides in you, and tells you that they feel unsafe in their relationship and that they are experiencing domestic abuse. So this year’s campaign is focused on ensuring that everyone can be confident enough to BELIEVE, RESPOND and REFER.


Believe what the person is telling you – you may feel shocked. It’s okay to feel this way – but it’s important to show that you believe them.


Respond by listening without judgement. It can be extremely difficult to talk about experiences of abuse and how you listen is important.


Refer them to specialist support services. Head to our website or download the Bright Sky app to find local services and your nearest Safe Space in a bank or pharmacy.

#16DaysofActivism Blogs:

Blog: 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

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Guest blog: Why domestic abuse is a business issue… and what employers can do

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Blog: A Day in the Life of an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA)

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Blog: Claire's Story - How a survivor of domestic violence now volunteers to help others

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Guest blog: Getting support for Economic Abuse

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Guest blog: 'Everyone can believe, respond, refer'

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Guest blog: How schemes like TSB's "Flee Fund" address the practical realities of escaping domestic abuse

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If you are holding any events during 16 Days of Activism Week, please do share the images with us on social media. Let’s raise as much awareness as possible. Tag us in using the #16DaysofActivism and @uksaysnomore and @Hestia1970.