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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.
Monthly Bulletin, January 2014
House of Lords rejects teaching sexual consent in schools
Sexual harassment in Westminster
2014: the year ahead for violence against women
Disappointment at House of Lords vote against teaching sexual consent
Women’s groups and experts were very disappointed at the Lords’ vote against the teaching of sexual consent in schools on Tuesday (28 January). 1 in 3 girls experiences ‘groping’ or other unwanted sexual touching, and research shows that boys are learning about sex from degrading and often violent pornography. This is why we believe sexual consent and relationships as part of Sex and Relationships Education is a vital child protection measure.
A prominent letter in support of the amendment from EVAW, Mumsnet, Rape Crisis, Women's Aid and many others was printed in The Times on Monday (27 January) and there is widespread support for such a move from the Children’s Commissioner and others.
EVAW will continue to campaign under its Schools Safe 4 Girls campaign for proactive work in schools to prevent abuse and support young people.
Sexual harassment in politics
EVAW criticised the Liberal Democrat party’s handling of sexual harassment allegations against Lord Rennard and has written to the leaders of the three main political parties asking to see their policies on sexual harassment. We will be publishing responses.
The context of this spotlight on sexual harassment in politics is the wider Savile revelations, ongoing trials related to Operation Yewtree as well as trials of men for the ‘grooming’ and sexual exploitation of girls. Our society is lifting the lid on the scale of sexual abuse and harassment, and on why victims have been reluctant to report. We expect the main political parties to propose solid preventative policy on all forms of abuse of women and girls at the next election.
2014: The year ahead in violence against women…
David Cameron was questioned on violence against women at length by the Liaison Committee soon after Parliament returned this month. He said violence against women and girls would be a priority for him this year and committed to ratifying the European Convention on Violence Against Women soon.
Special UN visitor – the UN’s Special Rapporteur on violence against women and girls, Rashida Manjoo, will visit the UK in April and assess our Government’s policy and practice in this areas. Watch this space.
Elections in May – will not just be about Nigel Farage! Violence against women organisations plan to ensure commitments to protect specialist women’s services and prevent abuse are on all candidates’ agendas.
Sexualisation is on the 2014 agenda – with a crescendo of attention to page 3, racist-sexist music videos, online porn, lads mags and more last year, there will be considerable attention to Government and all the parties’ policies on sexualisation this year. Age ratings for music videos online are being trialled, some phone-TV-internet companies are bringing in porn filters, and The Sun began the year reminding us why Page 3 has to go.
Abuse trials remain headline news – prosecutions of high profile men for sexual abuse alongside prosecutions of others for child sexual exploitation remain daily headline news. Women’s services have seen an enormous spike in calls reporting historic abuse. Our society’s understanding of the scale of abuse, how perpetrators target victims and why victims have been reluctant to report is changing. But it is still the case that the vast majority of survivors do not report to the police and there is as critical need for specialist women’s services in every community which can offer support long-term whenever a survivor seeks it. Political leadership in this area will be welcomed by many people, including policy aimed at preventing as well as just responding to abuse.
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We are very grateful for the support of all our supporters and funders, including Comic Relief, Esmée Fairbairn, Sigrid Rausing, Rosa, JMG, 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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Schools safe for girls
One in three girls are 'groped' at school and sexual harassment is routine.Schools have a unique and critical role to play in addressing harmful attitudes and abusive behaviour.
EVAW is calling for schools, parents, students and the government to work together to ensure that girls are safe. Read more and take action here.
Rewind sexist & racist music videos
A website and app are in development and will be launched soon; meanwhile visit our tumblr here. And complain from here!
#mediasexism & the Leveson Inquiry
Working with our members Eaves, Equality Now and Object we followed this up with a short report exposing the daily reality of this kind of reporting.
We continue to press decision makers to come up with a new newspaper complaints mechanism that works for women. More about this work here.
Protecting women's services
We have published research exposing the patchy provision of specialist women's support services.
We supported members to lobby candidates in the November 2012Police & 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.