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EVAW Coalition monthly bulletin
Our monthly bulletin is packed with the latest news and developments on violence against women across the UK.
Sign up to receive our bulletin by emailing admin[at]evaw.org.uk and writing 'Subscribe to Bulletin' in the subject box.
EVAW BULLETIN - April 2013
Local elections & new poll on women’s services
Sex & relationships education
Leveson & media sexism, the Philpott case
CPS spotlights ‘false allegations’
Local Elections, 2nd May – New poll shows most voters want local councils to fund domestic and sexual violence services
More than 2,000 seats are being contested in this week’s local elections (England and Anglesey in Wales) – to elect councillors who will make real coalface decisions about critical services which support women and girls suffering abuse.
A new YouGov poll commissioned by EVAW shows that 67% of UK adults believe their council should fund services for women who have been raped, and 70% believe their council should fund services for women who have been subjected to domestic violence. In addition, the vast majority of survey respondents said they think it is important that these services are of a high quality – specifically, the services should be run by women (81% think this is important), should be independent and confidential (87%), and should be run by staff with experience and knowledge of the needs of abuse victims (86%).
Currently, local authorities are not required to fund these life-saving services and previous EVAW research has shown that provision around the UK is patchy and subject to a ‘postcode lottery’. These services have also suffered a disproportionately high level of cuts compared to other local services in recent years. This poll sends a strong message to candidates for election that people value these services highly. EVAW members and supporters are contacting election candidates and their local press to let them know. Here are some useful materials if you want to do so too.
Abuse of women and girls is news – so why is Sex & Relationships Education not part of the National Curriculum?
EVAW and many others were deeply concerned when the Government published the National Curriculum review in mid-April and made clear that it would not make Personal, Social, Health and Economic Education (PSHE) and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) part of the statutory national curriculum. This is at odds with the Government's stated commitment to taking a coordinated approach to Violence Against Women and Girls, and we urge them to reconsider. We also call for the proposed new science curriculum not to water down information on human reproduction, and to preserve the place of human rights, including women's rights, in citizenship lessons. Read our submission to the Department for Education here.
The UN’s annual Commission on the Status of Women, attended by EVAW members on March this year, produced a concluding document (page 10) with a strong call for good sex and relationships education which addresses equality and respect. Watch this space for a new poll on attitudes to sex and relationships education and an audit of government policy in this area.
Ongoing Leveson saga, Charter and Counter-Charter – where is media sexism?
After giving evidence at the Leveson Inquiry and lobbying decision makers hard over the last 18 months, women’s groups were disappointed at the ‘Leveson settlement’ that was reached between the political parties in mid-March. Although it includes third party complaints, there is no guidance about women’s equality – despite Lord Leveson including in his final report some strong remarks on the way sections of the press prejudicially report on women – and the critical matter of the inclusion of pornographic images in daily newspapers has not been addressed. Last week’s newspaper industry counter-proposal is, if anything, weaker regarding our key concerns.
Women’s groups have made a submission to the Editors Committee about changes to the actual Editors Code. We want to see improvements to the section on discrimination.
Meanwhile the endemic sexism we found throughout the press in our joint report last autumn was obvious again in media coverage of Mick and Mairead Philpott and Paul Mosley’s conviction for the manslaughter of the Philpotts’ six children. Much of the print media indulged almost a week’s reporting and analysis of the Philpott family’s receipt of benefit payments, but little if any attention to the clear facts revealed during the prosecution and at sentencing about Mick Philpott’s history of targeting vulnerable young women, some of whom he met when they were teenagers, for abusive relationships. Women’s organisations and commentators nevertheless insisted this be discussed.
CPS spotlights ‘false allegations’ & EVAW responds to worrying cautions statistics
In March the CPS published a comprehensive report on the numbers and nature of cases of false allegations of domestic and sexual violence in the UK. It revealed that the number is far lower than is commonly thought (and encouraged by some sections of the press), and that those that are made, far from being malicious, often involve vulnerable people. EVAW hopes this report will help move debate onto the real solutions to improving justice for women and girls, including the provision of specialist support services which our opinion poll shows most people support.
It was concerning to read earlier this month about a high number of people being cautioned for sex offences. In cases involving adults this is generally inappropriate and we look forward to the government’s review of this situation.
If you would like to support our campaigning for a safer world for women and girls so that we can put pressure on government to take action you can make a donation. Every penny helps so many thanks!
We are very grateful for the support of all our donors and funders, including Comic Relief, Esmée Fairbairn, Rosa, Trust for London and Amnesty International UK.
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For more information about EVAW see www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk
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Preventing violence against women
We gave evidence at the Leveson Inquiry and have published a report with three other leading women's organisations investigating media sexism. Upload your examples of #everydaymediasexism here.
Watch our Jack-ass style 90 sec film We Are Man here below and share widely!
London safe for all women
Read our poll on sexual harassment and our manifesto for the London Mayor elections. We also campaigned for action to prevent violence against women during the London Olympics.
Protecting women's services
We supported members to lobby candidates in the November 2012 Police & Crime Commissioner elections.
The most recent authoritative assessment of the impact of public spending cuts on women's services is here.
Making Government keep its promise!
Women’s and human rights groups from across the UK came together in 2005 to form the EVAW Coalition and to campaign for a joined up approach to ending all violence against women and girls (VAWG).
Our joint campaigning has led to joined up strategies to end VAWG in Westminster, Wales, London as well as several local areas. We have exposed the postcode lottery of women's support services in the Map of Gaps campaign, given evidence to the Leveson Inquiry about media sexism and made sure governments keep their promises to take action on VAWG. In the last 12 months we have called for the UK to sign up to the new European Convention on Violence Against Women, which the PM recently committed to doing.
We work creatively to expose and challenge attitudes that tolerate violence against women – for example publishing surveys revealing the scale of sexual harassment in schools and beyond.
Our influences reaches the highest levels, including Downing Street (see our Co-Chair Marai Larasi with the PM on International Women's Day below), and is drawn from the experience of our members at the grassroots.
More on our impact here.
Support us by donating here.