An important conversation with The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation•
Posted on October 07 2020
Women facing domestic violence is a serious and present topic. During the pandemic, when many have been working from home, the violence rate has seen a tremendous increase.
As a brand with mostly female customers and with a team that is dominated by women, we want to contribute to this important topic by interviewing The Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation, which promotes women’s rights worldwide. Kvinna till Kvinna work to prevent gender-based violence, supporting women’s full participation in society and strengthening women’s economic rights and opportunities.
We asked them some questions to get a better understanding of their work and how we, as individuals can contribute and help.
1. How can one recognize if someone is experiencing domestic violence? Are there any signs you should look for in this digital age?
Gender based violence against women is a serious obstacle to gender equality and a violation of their human rights. Around the world, one in three women will be subjected to physical or sexual violence during her lifetime, often by their partner or a family member. Less than 50 % of violated women ask for help and only 25 % of those turn to the police, out of fear they will be subjected to further violence. Many of Kvinna till Kvinna’s partner organisations work to change this. They offer shelters and psychological support to women who have fled from abusive relationships.
Except for the common signs of abuse, as being physically abused, prevented from meeting friends and family, being tracked, insulted, humiliated, threatened and economically controlled, our digital age offers further ways of abuse. A mobile phone is an effective device to control your partner by demanding immediate answer to calls and texts, checking in- and outgoing calls and texts and keeping track of you by GPS services. If someone forces you to give out your passwords to your email and social media and other accounts, this person can get full control of your life. To reveal this type of abuse it is necessary to be attentive to every little sign and suspicion of identity theft as odd use of language, pictures, time of publishing and so on.
2. What is the best way to approach women who suffer from violence in any form?
Creating areas where women feel safe, in which they can empower themselves and each other, in solidarity, is the common ground in the work of the women’s organisations that Kvinna till Kvinna cooperates with, and a starting point in their work to improve local communities, as well as policies and legislation in relation to gender based violence and women’s rights.
If you suspect that someone close to you is at risk, be there for her, listen. Contact a women's shelter for support. If it is urgent, contact the police.
3. How can we all contribute to discourage violence?
A successful prevention of gender-based violence requires a gendered power perspective, which means that prevailing destructive norms of masculinity and femininity are challenged on both individual and societal levels. We can all work preventively to end gender based violence through for example awareness raising and trainings, targeting both women and girls as well as men and boys. For a lasting impact we need structural changes and advocacy is an important tool to achieve this.
How can I make a difference? You can support organisations that work to prevent violence, support local women's shelter, influence local associations (especially sports associations) to work actively with norms and values and how they work actively to preventive work against violence.
4. Where can you turn to if you need help and support?
If you, or someone near you, are in need of support, contact a women’s shelter or helpline. They will help and guide. To find your nearest women’s shelter, visit
5. How does the foundation help women that experience domestic violence, especially during Corona and social distancing?
Supporting women’s rights organisations and women human rights defenders in regions affected by conflicts is the core of Kvinna till Kvinna’s work. Empowering women is both a means and an end for communities where women and girls live free from gender-based violence and fully participate in, and benefit from, society. We provide both financial contributions and capacity strengthening activities. The partnership between Kvinna till Kvinna and partner organisations is characterised by a long-term cooperation where needs identified by our partners are at the centre. To be relevant, Kvinna till Kvinna has a close dialogue with partners and we systematically collect data about their work on gender-based violence. Kvinna till Kvinna is informed by, and aim to inform, relevant research on the subject.
Gender based violence almost always increases in societies under stress and trauma. The coronavirus pandemic impacts Kvinna till Kvinna’s global work for women’s rights. Our partners already carry out their work in areas affected by conflict and the virus makes their efforts even more difficult. The increase of gender based violence has been immense, globally the increase is estimated to be around 30%, in many of the contexts we work in the spike has been much higher, which has created an enormous burden on our partner organisation, in particularly working directly with survivors/victims of gender based violence.
Lockdowns in many countries during the pandemic have complicated the work of Kvinna till Kvinna’s partner organisations. For example, in Serbia women activists are bringing emergency hotlines to their homes and private mobiles, which means they are constantly reachable. Lockdowns and disruptions of normal social life also bring up traumatic memories for people who have suffered violent conflicts, especially in countries where the lockdowns and curfews are enforced by the military. The need for more psychosocial support will increase in these countries.
6. Besides donating, what can people do to support Kvinna till Kvinna?
A significant share of Kvinna till Kvinna's funding comes from individual donors – committed, passionate women’s rights defenders like you. There are different ways to get involved and support Kvinna till Kvinna.
Shop in our webshop! https://kvinnatillkvinna.se/shop/
Sign up as monthly donor and support our work longterm. https://kvinnatillkvinna.se/autogiro/
Besides donating, you can always contribute by getting involved in Kvinna till Kvinnas volunteer program. As a volunteer you will help to spread information about women’s rights. https://kvinnatillkvinna.se/engagera-dig/volontar/
Follow Kvinna till Kvinna in social media! Kvinna till Kvinna Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kvinnatillkvinna/
7. How will the donations that are coming from customer’s purchases help?
When you purchase a product from Swedish Stockings, 20 % of the profit go to Kvinna till Kvinna during 8-9 Oct. Donations will make it possible for Kvinna till Kvinna to create better living conditions for girls and women around the world. Together with our partner organisations, we prevent gender-based violence, strengthen peace and security, call for equal representation and empower women economically.
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