This International Women’s Day, the Indiana Coalition Against Domestic Violence celebrates those who have fought for gender equality and for the rights of women and girls around the world.
Today, and every day, we honor the courage and resilience of survivors. We salute the contributions of the women working at ICADV, in our member programs, and in our field, every day — those who serve and advocate for survivors and create innovative strategies to prevent violence and create safe, stable and equitable communities.
As part of our mission to end violence in Indiana, we see the importance of economic justice and rights for all. We recognize that gender-based discrimination and violence are the results of rigid, patriarchal social norms around gender and sexuality. We believe that the way people are valued differently in our culture based on identities like gender creates tolerance and a level of permission for exercising power over others with less valued identities. In order to prevent violence, we need to move from a culture that accepts “power over” to a culture that deeply values shared power.
All forms of violence and discrimination are interconnected. We recognize that fighting for gender equality must go beyond the binary, and include those individuals whose status as Trans or non-binary put them at risk for additional discrimination and violence. Indiana currently does not have laws prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity in employment, housing, healthcare. We cannot call for gender equality without also calling for racial and economic justice, immigrant and LGBTQ rights, and so on.
Similarly, we cannot address racial justice, immigrant rights issues, mental health, economic justice, etc., without acknowledging and addressing gender inequality. Only with the frame of a deeply intersectional approach can we transform the culture of violence. When we take a closer look at these practices, it is clear that they are violent expressions of widely held gender norms.
With this understanding of the roots of violence, we continue to support initiatives and public policy that promotes a society that is rooted in equity and justice for all people. We do this to strengthen communities, where everyone is protected and everyone is valued and where equality in relationships and equity in opportunity are fundamental human rights
We yearn for a world where peace and safety are the norms – where violence against women no longer exists. We are grateful to the women who created the foundation that makes this vision possible and hope we continue to pay tribute to their legacy as we work toward achieving it.