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EVAW Bulletin, Summer 2016 

A turbulent post-referendum period concluded with a new government. We’re looking to Teresa May and hernew cabinet to move quickly on violence against women and girls.  
EVAW are waiting to see if new Prime Minister Theresa May, as well as cabinet colleagues Home Secretary Amber Rudd and Education Secretary Justine Greening will take urgent steps to protect women’s specialist services and prevent abuse. As Home Secretary May introduced the first national strategy on violence against women and girls, now as PM she should ensure that strategy has an impact across government, and for all women and girls. 
 
EVAW members, Girlguides & Mumsnet urge MPs to press Ministers on girls’ safety in schools
Also this July, EVAW with members, parenting website Mumsnet and 17 named Girlguides wrote an open letter to the Women & Equalities Select Committee inquiry into sexual harassment and violence in schools in advance of their session with Ministers. The letter urged MPs to question ministers on the alarming levels of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools, and ask why current practice to prevent this behaviour is failing. We called for commitments to compulsory Sex and Relationships Education, a review of schools safeguarding guidance and better teacher training and school leadership in this area.
 
EVAW responds to Home Affairs Select Committee interim report on prostitution
Responding to the publication of the Home Affairs Select Committee prostitution inquiry’s interim report, EVAW welcomed recommendations for decriminalising women in prostitution and deleting their criminal records, and the call for a Government led in depth study of the scale and nature of prostitution. The coalition warned against treating trafficking as separate to prostitution, highlighting that the ‘demand’ from men who buy sex creates a driver for trafficking, and urged Committee members to address ‘consent’ and ‘choice’ in the round as they work towards making their final recommendations to Government.
 
Sexual Harassment now being treated as a hate crime by Nottinghamshire Police
EVAW commented on the news that Nottinghamshire Police have become the first police force to record sexual harassment as a misogynistic hate crime, following consultation with local women's groups including Nottinghamshire Women's Centre. EVAW is encouraged by the action taken by police to capture the intimidating and suffocating impacts of sexual harassment, which we highlighted in March in our joint film with Imkaan.

EVAW joins members and women’s rights campaigners to challenge government Sharia review
Alongside members Southall Black Sisters, Iranian Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation (IKWRO) and many others, EVAW co-signed a letter to then Home Secretary Theresa May to challenge the worrying direction in which the governments’ independent inquiry into the operation of Sharia Councils in the UK was heading. The letter gave three key recommendations to the government to ensure that law and not religion acts as the key basis for securing justice and to ensure that the same, fundamental principles of human rights, equality before the law, duty of care, due diligence and the rule of law apply to all British citizens.
 
EVAW celebrates progress made on preventing FGM in the UK
EVAW was delighted to attend a Communities Tackling FGM in the UK event hosted by funders Trust for London, Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, Comic Relief, Rosa and Kerring Foundation. The event celebrated the publication of a comprehensive Best Practice Guide and shone a light on the dramatic shifts and crucial learning that has emerged from investing in communities to tackle FGM in the UK.
 
#ReclaimTheInternet – EVAW supports action on online abuse
EVAW attended  the Reclaim the Internet event addressing online abuse, which highlighted many of the issues that we found in our 2013 report New Technology, Same Old Problems. With speakers including targeted individuals and groups, politicians from all parties, representatives from Police and CPS as well as social media platforms Twitter and Facebook; the event explored the sexist, racist and homophobic abuse that stifles freedom of speech and possible interventions to combat it.
 
EVAW AGM focuses on specialist services and begins capturing unique sector work
This Summer saw EVAW’s members come together to discuss the crisis in funding for specialist violence against women services at our AGM. Alongside the discussions, EVAW caught on camera many members talking about their life-saving and justice-shaping work – so look out for our forthcoming mini film series!
 
Job opportunity: EVAW Public Affairs Manager
EVAW has been fortunate enough to secure funding for a new Public Affairs Manager role to support our work shaping policy in Westminster, City Hall and across UK. If you know of someone with a sharp political instincts and a commitment to women’s rights, please share.
 
Reminder: EVAW Media Awards – nominations close 3rd October
We’ve already had some excellent nominations for our inaugural Media Awards. These awards aim to encourage greater investment in stories about violence against women and girls that are informed, accurate, sensitive and fair, and that help to ‘set the agenda’ and create public debate and change. Nominations close on 3rd October and shortlists will be publicised before winners announced on 25th November.

Please support us to maintain our independent feminist voice
EVAW relies on generous supporters and funders to enable us to campaign with an independent, feminist voice – please donate today if you would like to help!
 
We are very grateful for the support of all our supporters and funders, including Esmée Fairbairn, Sigrid Rausing Trust, Trust for London, the Coutts Foundation, and the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust.

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