Take Action With Us This #NOvember | 5 Things You Can Do During the 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women and Girls

Nov 27, 2023

We believe that violence against women and girls (VAWG) and sexual exploitation should not be viewed as issues in isolation. 

That is why we have decided to focus our NOvember campaign this year around underlying issues that exasperate the prevalence of VAWG in the UK. The issues that we’re covering are: housing, domestic abuse, substance use, income and food poverty, and victim blaming. 

Here are 5 simple actions that you can take this NOvember
during UN Women’s 16 days of activism:

1. Housing 

“Urgent action is needed to prevent even more people being pushed into homelessness. Some 242,000 households have already been forced into sleeping on the streets, sofa surfing and living in temporary accommodation such as hostels and B&Bs. This is up by a third since 2020.” -Big Issue, 2023.

Get involved in The Big Issue’s new campaign to ‘End Housing Insecurity Now’, which is calling on the Government to implement three policies to ensure the nine million renters living in poverty in the UK can stay in their homes and fulfil their potential:


Why is this so important, and how does housing insecurity route women into situations such as exchanging sexual relations for accommodation? Read our latest #NOvember Campaign blog on ‘Tackling the Foundations’ here.

Domestic Abuse

Take action with us, sign Refuge’s petition to protect lifesaving domestic abuse services.

From the refuge petition:

“Domestic abuse is the most prevalent form of violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the UK.

For some survivors, fleeing to a refuge will be the only safe option. But many others seek tailored support in their own home or a safe place in their community to enable them to recover and rebuild their lives. This is where community-based services come in.

Despite the transformative role community-based services play in a survivor’s journey, and the rising demand for these types of services, many remain chronically underfunded, and survivors face a postcode lottery in accessing support. In 2022, less than 50% of survivors who wanted to access community-based services were able to. The estimated annual funding shortfall for organisations led ‘by and for’ Black and minoritised women is between £63m and £114m.

The government has an opportunity to safeguard these lifesaving services through the Victims and Prisoners Bill.”

Income and Food Poverty

There are a multitude of factors that can contribute women’s involvement in the sex industry, and towards the male violence against women that is prevalent today. One of these factors is often the financial strain from high living costs, low income, and food poverty. 

Join us in taking action with the Trussell Trust, and sign the petition to Guarantee our Essentials.

From the Trussell Trust:
“Food banks in the Trussell Trust network have seen the highest ever level of need in a six month period, providing 1.5 million emergency food parcels to people between April and September this year. A record 540,000 emergency food parcels were provided to support more than 265,000 children across the UK.

Our social security system should support anyone in need of help, but more and more people are finding it impossible to make ends meet because Universal Credit is falling short, and it’s pushing people to food banks.

Help us change this by adding your name to our petition.

Victim blaming

Victim blaming: Any response that explicitly states or implies that the victim is to blame for the abuse they have experienced. – Welsh Women’s Aid.

Victim blaming can:

🚩 Increase survivors feeling of self-blame, becoming a barrier to them accessing support and a longer recovery.
🚩 Invalidate survivors experiences, enhancing their feelings of isolation and self-doubt
🚩 Discourage survivors from speaking up again, or seeking justice and support, through fear of not being believed.

Positive responses to survivors disclosing abuse can:

💚 Reduce feelings of post-traumatic stress, depression and health issues.
If someone tells you that they have experienced abuse, rather than focusing on what they could have done differently, think about how you can support them moving forward.
Welsh Women’s-Aid

Want to take action and help challenge attitudes around victim blaming?

When you hear or see unhelpful narratives in-person or online, if it is safe for you to do so, join us in speaking up against it. Let’s work together to end the normalisation of victim blaming rhetoric, as it has very real impacts for survivors.

You can also watch and share our free Whitechapel Women online tour, which is a great introduction to a variety of social issues in relation to violence against women, and touches on now centuries-old stigma and victim blaming. https://whitechapelwomen.com/

monochrome line drawing of the bust of a Victorian woman overlaid onto a map of the east end with plain typography on top reading: Whitechapel women tour, tell her story in history, whitechapelwomen.com

Substance Use

This section will be revealed on Thursday 30th November. Check back then for your action, and follow us on social media for updates! 

This blog is a part of Beyond the Streets’ NOvember Campaign, we want to say thank you for reading to the end, and we sincerely hope to empower you by offering practical ways to drive positive change with us, and raising awareness together about the issues around violence against women and girls in the  UK.