Orange the World: a visible symbol of protest against violence against women and girls

MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna are making a visible statement in protest against violence against women and girls once again in 2022 and are participating in UN Women’s global "Orange the World" campaign. During the "16 Days Against Violence" (25 November to 10 December), the exterior lighting of the buildings on the joint site, including the main building of University Hospital Vienna and the MedUni Vienna Rectorate building, will be changed to orange and the campaign flag will be hoisted.

Through all global crises, violence against women sadly remains an ever-present theme. Based on media reports, the Association of Autonomous Austrian Women’s Shelters counted 28 femicides in Austria in 2022, as of 17 October, where the suspected perpetrators were (ex-)partners, family members or close associates of the victim. The Women’s Helpline Against Violence received 9,260 calls in 2021. The helpline offers round-the-clock telephone advice and support for women affected by violence, available in various languages on 0800 222 555. The service is also available to deaf women via a relay service.

As the first point of contact for victims of domestic violence, the healthcare system has a key role to play. Medical professionals are uniquely placed to recognise the signs. It is important not to look the other way when this happens: "It is incumbent upon us all to end violence against women. As a medical university, we bear a particular responsibility. Doctors can recognise injuries caused by violence and provide significant support to victims by documenting their injuries correctly and referring them to victim protection agencies," emphasises Markus Müller, Rector of MedUni Vienna. In order to teach these skills to students, MedUni Vienna has been offering the interdisciplinary lecture series "One in Five" for 13 years. The lecture series is organised by Andrea Berzlanovich from the Center for Forensic Medicine together with the Association of Autonomous Austrian Women’s Shelters and the Ombudsman Board and takes place at MedUni Vienna every year over the "16 Days Against Violence", namely between 25 November and 10 December. The lecture series aims to encourage students from different disciplines to address the issue of violence and the resulting health problems, both with a view to their future medical practice and in a scientific context. In 2022, "One in Five" is dedicated to the issue of violence in the healthcare sector. Experts from MedUni Vienna and University Hospital Vienna are among the speakers. The new episode of MedUni Vienna’s "Hörgang" podcast, produced in collaboration with Springer Medizin, is also dedicated to this issue - guest: Andrea Berzlanovich from MedUni Vienna’s Center for

Forensic Medicine
"At University Hospital Vienna, we do not turn a blind eye to incidents of violence; on the contrary, we look at them closely. We were one of the first hospitals to install a victim protection group that provides support in the outpatient departments and on the wards when patients are identified as having suffered injuries resulting from violence. A growing problem in the healthcare sector is aggression and violence towards staff and patients. We are also working hard to address this matter and are taking measures to protect our employees and patients as best we can," says Herwig Wetzlinger, Director of University Hospital Vienna.

About the "Orange the World" campaign
The UN’s "Orange the World" campaign takes place every year between 25 November, the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women," and 10 December, which is "Human Rights Day." All over the world, during these 16 days of protest against violence, buildings will be lit up in orange to send a visible signal in protest against violence against women. The "Orange the World" campaign aims to raise general awareness of the issue and speak out against violence against women and girls.