By Evie Andreou
Following studies that assault and domestic murders increase over the Christmas period, One Woman at a Time Cyprus (OWAAT) has launched ‘The Next 16 Days’ – A Never-Ending Christmas Season To End Abuse Against Women.
The group launched the campaign following the end of the ’16 Days’, a human rights global awareness campaign for the prevention of gender-based violence.
In the 16 days between November 25 – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – until December 10 when Human Rights Day is celebrated, Individuals and groups around the world call for the elimination of all forms of violence against women.
Owaat has taken the campaign a step further by launching ‘The Next 16 Days’ maintaining that “human rights awareness against abusers is a never-ending affair”.
“During ‘The Next 16 Days’ is when international studies show our world’s women will experience the highest incidences of abuse in their homes, over the holiday season,” the group said.
According to OWAAT founder Patricia Martin, an attorney in the US, Cypriot volunteers of the organisation “have joined with OWAAT global volunteers to begin ‘The Next 16 Days never-ending Christmas season’ movement aimed to heighten global awareness against abusers and human rights entitlements to protect abused women – long before violence erupts.”
OWAAT aims to teach women how to take a grasp of the law, become self-represented litigants, and get access to court for no-contact orders against their abusers, without the help of a lawyer.
The group’s website – in Greek, English and Russian – provides human rights information, simple instructions and fill-in-the blanks application forms for divorce and emergency no-contact orders. Arabic and Yoruba versions are to be introduced in 2017.
The project was launched in 2014 by Martin, a US constitutional law civil rights litigator, and international human rights advocate, who received a Fulbright research scholarship to facilitate the work of the project, implemented in cooperation with the University of Nicosia Law Clinic programme.
The group urges abused persons to seek help through their website.
“Go to www-owaat-cy.com, learn how to end your own abuse – long before violence erupts”.