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Academy Building ‘oranged’ to stop violence against women

Eliminate violence against women. That is the message of the Orange the World campaign. Leiden University is joining in this year, hence the ‘oranged’ Academy Building and Oude UB.

Almost half of all women in the Netherlands (around 45%) have experienced physical or sexual violence since the age of 15. This must stop. To draw more attention to this issue, Leiden University is taking part in this year’s international Orange the World campaign. The Academy Building and the Oude UB (both on Rapenburg) will light up orange for a few weeks starting 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Klara Wieczorke (left) and Semra Milanovich helped launch the initiative. They do so together with their fellow student Lana Skrlec (not on this picture).

The organisers want to make it easier for women to report violent crimes and access help, wherever they are in the world. In 2019, 150 municipalities and eight provinces in the Netherlands took part in the campaign, which meant over 250 buildings were lit up orange.

‘Worldwide, gender-based violence is still a major issue, with extreme examples such as female genital mutilation,’ says Klara Wieczorke. Together with the Diversity and Inclusion Expertise Office she has recently started a support group for Leiden University students and staff who have experienced sexual violence. The pilot project received a  Van Bergen Prize that will make the planned activities possible. ‘But also in communities such as the Leiden University student community, which is relatively progressive and generally promotes gender equality, gender-based violence still happens, mostly behind closed doors. Orange the World can help open up a dialogue and encourage survivors to speak out.’

Workshop: Boundaries, Communication & Consent

As part of the Orange the World Campaign 2020, Care Leiden in collaboration with Leiden University's Diversity and Inclusion Expertise Office is organising an online workshop to increase awareness and prevent violence against women. The workshop will be given by the Our Bodies Our Voice Foundation.

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