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'We Must Have Zero Tolerance For Violence Against Women'

SOCIAL Services Minister Melanie Griffin has urged citizens to have “zero tolerance” for violence against women as today the world observes International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Since 1981, the day has been recognised annually on November 25.

“Gender-based violence, whether sexual or domestic, is now universally recognised and understood to be a violation of women’s human rights,” she added.

“This violence results in a form of trauma that creates devastating, emotional and mental health distress for victims. These victims experience post traumatic (stress) disorder and clinical depression at a much higher level than non-abused women.

“For those who may also have experienced abuse in childhood, whether incest or child molestation or domestic violence, the risk of developing emotional mental health distress is even greater.”

She said the deaths related to domestic violence “speaks volumes about the potential for lethality in toxic intimate relationships and the urgency for us to address this problem.”

She said the Christie administration is committed to confronting this scourge through several initiatives including the ongoing work of the Gender-based Violence Task Force with chairwoman, retired Justice Rubie Nottage.

In observance of International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women, the United Nations has called on countries around the world to drape their neighbourhoods in orange and for individuals to wear orange.

Rights organisations normally take part in 16 days of activism, which begins the next day and ends on December 10 – Human Rights Day.

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