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Google celebrates the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women with a white ribbon

Back in 1999 the United Nations declared the 25th November to be the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and today's Google homepage features a white ribbon to highlight this growing problem affecting females of any age, from all walks of life, in every country.

According to recent statistics, in the world up to 70% of women experience violence during their lifetime, ranging from domestic abuse and sexual violence to honour killings and trafficking. Discrimination against the 'weaker sex' is not confined to underdeveloped countries, as many would like to think, and violence against women and girls is an issue very much present at various degrees in every society regardless of the financial status or religious beliefs of those involved.

Violence against women takes many forms - physical, sexual, psychological and economic - with long lasting consequences that seriously compromise the quality of living not only of the victims, but also of their families and the wider community. Health problems, social exclusion and low self esteem are some of the long-term effects of the violent acts that often accompany a culture of inequality between men and women, which brings a great deal of damage often carried on to the next generation.

Education, prevention and support are the key for a brighter future therefore it's extremely important to increase awareness with the hope that the next generations will learn from past mistakes, as well as helping as much as possible those involved. In the UK, nearly £40 million of funding have been allocated by the Government until 2015 for specialist local support services and national helplines and new legislation are being introduced to curb the problem.

If you are a victim of violence or know someone in need of help, there are a lot of organizations you can contact to get support and find a way out of the situation, such as Women's Aid (0808 2000 247 - http://www.womensaid.org.uk/), Refuge (0808 2000 247 - http://refuge.org.uk/) and National Domestic Violence Helpline (0808 2000 247 - http://www.nationaldomesticviolencehelpline.org.uk/).

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