More than 600 people participated in the fourth edition of the “Together for the Safety of Women!” march on Saturday, the event being attended by several ambassadors, including those of the US, Germany, France, Finland and Sweden. The US Ambassador to Romania, Hans Klemm underscored the importance of combating violence against girls and women. He said that governments, the leaders of communities and the church have a role to play in the fight against this type of violence that can be found in all societies. He voiced his hope that actions such as Saturday’s march will raise the degree of awareness regarding this issue. Germany’s Ambassador to Romania Cord Meier-Klodt affirmed that violence against women constitutes a painful issue, that is not specific to a certain country, as it has a global character. We are not here to teach lessons (…) but to offer international support, Meier-Klodt added, considering the march a very good initiative. France’s Ambassador to Romania Michele Ramis stated that violence against women and girls is universal, unacceptable and represents a worrisome aspect. She affirmed that through activities such as Saturday’s march mentality can be changed. Finland’s Ambassador to Romania Paivi Pohjanheimo underscored that violence against women represents a global challenge. We think it is important to be here today to show our respect and solidarity (…) it is important we talk about the issue, acknowledge that all our countries share the same issue, Ambassador Paivi Pohjanheimo said, according to Agerpres. Sweden’s Ambassador to Romania Anneli Lindahl Kenny said she came to the event out of solidarity with women and highlighted that this march represents a very good awareness-raising method. She mentioned that violence against women should not be tolerated and everybody should take a stand against it. Participants in the march held placards with such messages as: “Love doesn’t give rise to violence”, “1 in 4 women, physically or sexually abused by partner,” “Stop the violence!,” “It kills me. Your slap!,” “Spare the rod and spoil the child but where does love come from, then?” “Your reaction can save you.” The participants chanted among others: “The indifference feeds the violence!,” “Solidarity!,” “We want safety in the streets and at home!,” “Shelters for all and adequate budgets,” “I don’t feel flattered when I am aggressed,” “We want justice and confidence in the Police!.” The director of the Filia Center, Andreea Braga, part of the Network for Prevention and Combating Violence Against Women, the organizer of the march, said that this edition is taking place against the backdrop of the rights and freedoms of women in the region being under attack. “I have recently heard in the public sphere that the Istanbul Convention is being attacked and we are taking to the streets today in sign of solidarity with the survivors of violence (…). We cannot give up on the rights we have won in the last years,” Braga stated. She mentioned that through this march, the Network for Prevention and Combating of Violence Against Women requests the authorities for more measures for the women’s safety. According to her, the fact that more and more violence cases are being registered with the police is a positive signal, because there are many unreported cases.
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