International Day of Nonviolence

No to all violence: No to the fist, no to the knife, no to the bomb

2 October is International Day of Nonviolence, introduced by the UN in 2007 to celebrate the birth date of Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948) and the nonviolent campaigns he established to challenge racism and create an independence movement in India.

As a group of activist, feminist women, Women in Black are focusing our vigil today on violence towards women and knife crime that touches the lives of so many young people and their families. We seek nonviolent approaches to injustice and conflict and encourage civil society and governments to invest in projects to support this.


Women and girls experience domestic violence, both physical and coercive and over the past year there has been an increase in domestic violence during COVID lockdowns. For the year ending March 2020, an estimated 1.6 million women aged 16 to 74 years experienced domestic abuse. Globally, rape, forced prostitution and sexual trafficking are a common tactic of war directed towards women.


Knife crime and youth violence have risen in many parts of the UK. In year ending March 2021 18,553 knife and offensive weapon offences were formally dealt with by the Criminal Justice System. Between January and April 2021, 27 people were killed in knife attacks, the majority are young people.

  • We can speak up and put a stop to the blows so many women in the world receive at the hands of their male partners, a violence hidden in the home.
  • We can challenge the use of war as a means of settling disputes and solving problems.
  • We can invest in our young people and the community projects and services that ensure they are heard, supported and offered the skills to live safe and full lives.
  • We can expose the myth that it is glamorous or offers kudos to use knives, fists or fear.
  • End Violence Against Women Coalition which undertakes campaigning and advocacy work on behalf of women and girls.

REFUGE, for women and children facing domestic violence 

Knife Free a website addressed to young people and their supporters

Women in Black hold vigils every Wednesday between 6-7 pm at the Edith Cavell Statue, opposite the door of the National Portrait Gallery, St.Martin’s Place, London WC2. Our vigils are silent, women-only and if possible we wear black. We welcome all women who support our call for an end to militarism and war.

Contact us: Twitter @WIB_London FB

Donations for leaflets most welcome

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