International Girl's Day. UNICEF Venezuela begins campaign to contribute to the prevention of violence against girls and women
With the phrase “It's Not a Joke, it's Violence”, UNICEF makes visible the consequences of gender violence for boys, girls and adolescents.
CARACAS, October 11, 2020.- Gender-based violence not only affects adults, but children also suffer it. The consequences of violence accompany the child throughout his life. That is why UNICEF Venezuela has activated the campaign It's Not a Joke, It's Violence, in order to raise awareness and contribute to the prevention of gender-based violence and its consequences on children and adolescents.
Gender-based violence is any act that harms a person, based on gender differences between men and women. It includes acts that result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering; as well as threats of such acts, coercion, and other deprivation of liberty. Such acts can be committed in public or in private.
This type of violence is often naturalized and even goes unnoticed in stigmatizing jokes, and more recently it may have been fueled by the COVID-19 pandemic. The virus prevention measures place women, adolescents, and girls at a greater risk of contagion of the virus, as well as increasing their risk of suffering some form of violence, and of stigmatization.
It is estimated that 35 percent of women around the world have suffered physical and/or sexual violence by a romantic partner or sexual violence by someone other than their romantic partner (these figures do not include sexual harassment) at some point in their lives. However, some studies show that up to 70 percent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence by a romantic partner in their lifetime.
On this day, which is commemorated worldwide, Girl's Day, UNICEF Venezuela launches a communication campaign that seeks to make visible and raise awareness about the vulnerability of girls and women to violence, and the co-responsibility of the State, society, families, and each person in the prevention and care of violence. The digital channels of UNICEF Venezuela and its allies will widely disseminate this first phase of the campaign, which will last until the end of 2020 with mass communication activities.
“From UNICEF we call on society in general that when they witness or learn of cases of violence against girls and women, they look for institutions and authorities that can help them, it is everyone's task to eradicate gender-based violence”, said Javier Álvarez, Deputy Representative of UNICEF in Venezuela.
In its response to the protection of children, UNICEF has a team of specialists focused on working with its partners in the field, national government, local and regional governments, civil society, and other institutions to respond to the protection needs of children, especially during the contingency due to the pandemic, with actions that include the provision of protective equipment to personnel in the first line of response that attends to situations of violence against children, as well as the rehabilitation of spaces for attention to cases.
Also through specialists in Caracas and in local offices in Táchira, Zulia, and Bolívar, UNICEF has contributed with protection councils and partners on the ground in handling cases through telephone lines, and a mobile protection services unit, specifically in the state of Bolívar and attention services in the San Antonio bus terminal, Táchira.
Likewise, UNICEF has redoubled efforts to provide psychosocial support to families and in the dissemination of violence prevention messages, including gender-based violence. By the end of 2020, UNICEF had reached more than 76,000 children and adolescents through comprehensive protection services.
 World Health Organization, Department of Reproductive Health and Research, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, South African Council for Medical Research (2013). Global and regional estimates of violence against women: prevalence and health effects of spousal violence and non-spousal sexual violence, p. 2. For individual country information, see UN Women Global Database on Violence against Women.
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) works in 190 countries and territories together with allies of governments, the private sector, and organized society, to promote the fulfillment of the rights of all children and adolescents around the world.
UNICEF has been working in Venezuela since 1991 through a Country Program that is agreed upon and signed with the National Government, transforming the commitment into actions that contribute to the protection and strengthening of the rights of children and adolescents.