New York City Kicks Off ‘16 Days of Activism’ Against Gender-Based Violence

November 30, 2020

Today, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) and the Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) begins New York City’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence,

an annual global campaign to raise awareness about the far-reaching consequences of gender-based violence and to urge government, community, corporate, and philanthropic sectors to develop strategies that eliminate gender-based violence. Since 2014, New York City has brought this critical international campaign to the local level as part of its work to address gender-based violence.

From November 25, International Day to End Violence against Women, to December 10, International Human Rights Day, New Yorkers are encouraged to host or attend an-hour long bystander intervention training conducted by advocacy organization Hollaback! as part of a partnership with CGE, ENDGBV, and L’Oréal Paris to train 20,000 New Yorkers this year on how they can combat street harassment.

New Yorker’s are also encouraged host their own event to help spread awareness of gender-based violence, and to #WearOrange, take photos of themselves and post to social media. Buildings throughout the city will commemorate the fight against gender-based violence by lighting up in orange on December 10th.

“Too many women, transgender, and gender non-binary New Yorkers continue to feel unsafe in our City and we will not accept it,” said NYC First Lady Chirlane McCray. “I encourage New Yorkers to join this campaign so that we all – regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background – enjoy the right to move freely, work, and play in public spaces with dignity and security.”

“Joining this global campaign demonstrates this Administration’s continued commitment to addressing gender-based violence,” said Melanie Hartzog, NYC Deputy Mayor for Health & Human Services. “We encourage New Yorkers to spread awareness and take action by participating in the 16 days – and more – activism campaign to eliminate gender-based violence.”

This year’s campaign theme is Take Action Against Gender-Based Violence and invites New Yorkers to host or attend an-hour long bystander intervention training hosted by CGE, Hollaback! and L’Oréal Paris to help make New York City’s public spaces safe for all New Yorkers regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background. The City aims to train 1000 persons per day during the 16-day period and to give participants tools to intervene safely when they witness street harassment.

“Survivors need us now more than ever in these extraordinary times, and our campaign offers many ways we can show them our support,” said Cecile Noel, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence. “COVID-19 puts into sharp focus the vulnerabilities that many people in our city face every day, especially gender-based violence survivors; and it highlights the barriers and challenges that we know keep people from seeking help and finding safety. The City is here for survivors during this crisis and beyond, and is standing up to gender-based violence daily with crucial partners like Hollaback!, L’Oréal Paris and the advocacy community.”

“All New Yorkers, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background, have the right to be free from violence in their homes, workplaces, schools, and communities, and as New Yorkers we are all responsible for doing our part,” said Jacqueline Ebanks, Executive Director, NYC Commission on Gender Equity. “During the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen how New Yorkers continue to show up for each other and we hope you will join us during the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence campaign in building safer and more equitable communities.”

“Gender-based violence has no regard for age, ethnicity, socioeconomic status or immigration status,” said Penny Abeywardena, Commissioner, NYC Mayor’s Office for International Affairs. “Since New York City hosts the largest diplomatic community in the world, my office has worked with the Commission on Gender Equity and The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence over the years to share best practices with the international community. COVID-19 has added even greater urgency to these efforts. As a city, we will never be whole if our people remain vulnerable in this way. So, during these 16 Days of Activism, let us do all we can to educate ourselves, support survivors and end this violence once and for all.”

“16 Days of Activism reminds us that we must recommit ourselves to undoing the harms that misogyny and sexism continue to cause in our society,” said Carmelyn P. Malalis, Chair & Commissioner, NYC Commission on Human Rights. “Gender-based harassment and violence continue to permeate our workplaces and our personal relationships. While New York City has some of the most robust protections against sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and discrimination against victims of domestic violence, we must build on those protections to change culture and change norms. Bystander intervention training is an effective tool to do just that. We are excited to partner with the Commission for Gender Equity and the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence to continue to center this critical work.”

“As part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, we are calling attention to the fact that each one of us can take a stand against gender-based violence in our day-to-day lives,” said New York City Council Member Helen Rosenthal, Chair of the Committee on Women & Gender Equity.GBV is embedded in our society, crossing lines of class, race, ethnicity, and sexuality. I am honored to be working with the Commission on Gender Equity, the Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, my fellow Council Members, survivors, and community advocates to combat GBV in all its complexities.”

“Gender-based violence is not only a woman’s issue; it is an issue that should and must concern everyone,” said New York City Council Member Adrienne Adams. “I applaud the 16 Days of Activism program as it will raise constructive public awareness to protect survivors. As a city we must continue to stand up and address the culture of gender-based violence to make it a thing of the past.”

“I want to commend The Commission on Gender Equity and The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender Based Violence on their advocacy to provide safe spaces for all New Yorkers, regardless of gender identity, gender expression, or background,” said New York City Council Member Mathieu Eugene. “I have been a longtime supporter of initiatives that help victims of gender-based violence find the resources they need to get out of dangerous situations. There is no place for this type of injustice in our society, and I am confident that by working together, we will continue to make progress on this very important issue of personal safety.”

“Gender-based violence has no place in this city, and it’s up to us to collectively raise awareness, speak out, and empower survivors,” said New York City Council Member I. Daneek Miller. “It’s more important than ever that we support one another during these challenging times, and I look forward to sharing the upcoming efforts with my constituency and encourage all New Yorkers to participate as well.”

The Mayor’s Office to End Domestic and Gender-Based Violence (ENDGBV) develops policies and programs, provides training and prevention education, conducts research and evaluations, performs community outreach, and operates the New York City Family Justice Centers. We collaborate with City agencies and community stakeholders to ensure access to inclusive services for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence (GBV). GBV can include intimate partner and family violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking. Read more about the term.

The NYC Family Justice Centers are co‐located multi-disciplinary service centers providing vital social services, civil legal, and criminal justice assistance for survivors of domestic and gender-based violence and their children—all under one roof. For more information, visit or visit us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.

Founded in 2015, the Mayor’s Commission on Gender Equity (CGE) works to create a deep and lasting institutional commitment to tearing down equity barriers across New York City. CGE addresses issues of inequity and discrimination facing girls, women, and transgender and gender non-binary persons regardless of ability, age, ethnicity/race, faith, gender expression, immigrant status, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status.

Focusing across the areas of economic mobility and opportunity, health and reproductive justice, and safety CGE ensures that the City leads in the development and implementation of best practices in gender-equitable policies and programs for its workforce and its residents. For more information, visit or visit us on FacebookInstagram, or Twitter.

Photo credit: People gather at a vigil for a slain transgender woman.

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