Stop violence against women who use drugs.
2021 Campaign to Eliminate Violence Against Women who Use Drugs (EVAWUD)
including trans and gender non-conforming people,
With the International campaign for the elimination of violence against women 2021, the EuroNPUD SisterWUD and the Women and Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN) call for an end to all forms
of violence against women who use drugs.
Women who use drugs,
and a wide range of physical and psychological harm due to punitive prohibition of some substances. State- driven stigma, criminalisation and corruption drive substantive health and safety harms and act as barriers between women who use drugs and critical harm reduction and gender-based violence (GBV) service. Women who use drugs (WUD) experience GBV at up to around 25 times the rate experienced by other women in the general public. This violence includes, (but is not limited to) extra judicial killing and capital punishment, forced and coerced sterilisation and abortion, rape, sexual harassment, loss of child custody, imprisonment for mere personal possession or use, penalisation for drug use in pregnancy and other types
are subject to extreme levels
of gendered violations, stigma and discrimination.
Woman who use drugs around the world can face arbitrary detention, extortion, police violence, torture
and ill-treatment, with o
Due to the
ver a third of women in prison incarcerated for drug offences globally.
war on drugs, women survivors have little recourse and often no support, particularly in cases of violence
from police, prison guards and compulsory treatment centre staff.
The experiences of violence against women who use drugs are even more extreme for those facing intersecting discrimination, such as women
of colour, sex workers, or trans women.
As the criminalization of drug use stands as the primary barrier between women who use drugs and attainment of human rights including access to harm reduction and other essential health services, decriminalisation is also imperative. Expansion of harm reduction and inclusion of violence mitigation and support services are also critical. It is also noted that sexual and reproductive health is now promoted as an additional essential service that should be incorporated within the harm reduction suite of services for people who use drugs, and that best practice
service delivery integrates comprehensive GBV services.
Legislation and legal principles, procedures, policies, programmes and practices relating to criminal justice must be reviewed to determine if they are adequate to prevent and eliminate violence against women who use drugs or if they have a negative impact on women and, if they do, to modify them in order to ensure that women who use drugs enjoy fair and equal treatment.
Please join us in ensuring adequate resources and legislative frameworks to uphold the safety and human rights of women who use drugs.
These conditions have only worsened during COVID 19 restrictions which have created contexts that have escalated GBV without matching responses for women at risk or being exposed to violence. The Women and Harm Reduction International Network (WHRIN) note that by collaborating with groups of women who use drugs and documenting peer led actions and services, the appropriate responses to these inequities and violations are clear. Meaningful involvement of women who use drugs must feature as the cornerstone
to all good practice responses in developing GBV services for women who use drugs.
The EuroNPUD SisterWUD and WHRIN call for an end to the war on drugs to end this violence against