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EVAW Bulletin, September 2014
#SREnow - EVAW Coalition & Everyday Sexism Project launch ‘Compulsory SRE’ petition
Party conferences are well under way and EVAW and the Everyday Sexism Project have teamed up to launch a major new petition calling on Party Leaders to pledge to make Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) as part of PSHE compulsory in all schools to address abuse of women and girls – and it already has nearly 5,000 signatures in less than 2 days.
We have also attracted lots of media attention and high profile backers: Mumsnet’s Justine Roberts, Yas Necati, Caitlin Moran, and many more.
We know a majority of the public back the move.
And there is huge cross-party political support for this overdue, common sense change:
Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper repeated her commitment in her Labour Party conference speech this week and told us:
"Labour strongly believes we need compulsory sex and relationship education in all our schools. We fully support the campaign by the Everyday Sexism Project and EVAW. A labour government will act on Everyday Sexism and EVAW's campaign and introduce SRE as part of our new violence against women and girls legislation."
Equalities Minister Jo Swinson MP has sent this message of support for our petition:
“We welcome the petition started by End Violence Against Women and the Everyday Sexism Project…That is why we have included a promise to introduce age-appropriate SRE in our next manifesto.”
Caroline Lucas MP has tabled a Private Members Bill with similar aims and told us:
“Work to prevent violence against women and girls and to teach about healthy, respect-filled relationships must become an integral part of every school’s curriculum… I hope MPs and party leaders will back my Private Member’s Bill to make SRE statutory.”
Please sign and share the petition widely #SREnow
Education Secretary Nicky Morgan backs EVAW’s new Schools Factsheet
Experts on EVAW’s Prevention Network have also launched a new Factsheet for Schools on recognising and responding to all forms of violence against women and girls – and Education Secretary Nicky Morgan has warmly supported it:
“As both Secretary of State for Education and Minister for Women I am wholly committed to tackling violence against women and girls. Recent events have brought into sharp focus the crucial importance of teaching young people to understand the abuse women and girls can face and where they can get support.
“Ensuring young people receive good quality relationship education which teaches the importance of respect and mutual consent should be at the heart of this and the new factsheet from the End Violence Against Women Coalition helps to highlight the importance of this issue to teachers.”
In the wake of Rotherham, Rochdale and Savile, there is a huge groundswell of opinion supporting work in schools to prevent sexual, domestic and other forms of violence against women and girls.
EVAW is delighted to partner with ATL on its Safer Schools campaign , and we spoke at the launch of AVA’s Prevention Platform which provides critical teaching resources on violence against women and girls.
EVAW Co-Director Holly Dustin discussed the need for political action to transform social attitudes to women and prevent abuse on BBC Woman’s Hour with Seema Malhotra MP, Labour’s new Shadow Minister for Violence Against Women and Girls, in late August.
EVAW launches Women’s Safety Manifesto
As the last Party Conferences before the General Election in May 2015 kick off, the End Violence Against Women Coalition publishes its Women's Safety Manifesto calling for all Parties to pledge to:
* Introduce a new law to ensure that survivors of rape, domestic violence, child sexual abuse, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and other abuse have access to women's support services no matter where they live, or how long ago the violence took place
* Make Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) compulsory in all schools to teach young people about sexual consent, the harms of pornography and gender equality, as part of a broader programme of work in schools and the whole community to prevent violence against women and girls
* Tackle harmful media images consistently so that regulation of adverts, television, music videos, films and newspaper images uses harm-based criteria and reflects public concerns
* Protect marginalised women, in particular women in prostitution and refugee women
* Introduce a new law requiring national and local authorities to draw up plans to end and prevent violence against women and girls so they can be held accountable on this.
Join us at Labour Women's conference on Saturday 20 September in Manchester where we have a stall and will be speaking on the VAWG workshop alongside VAWG Minister Seema Malhotra MP. Listen to EVAW Director Holly Dustin discuss Labour’s policies on VAWG going forward with Seema shortly after her appointment on Woman’s Hour in August.
Come to our joint event with the Conservative Women’s Organisation at Conservative Party conference in Birmingham on Monday 29 September where we will be speaking on a panel with Clare Perry MP.
In other news...
We are delighted to be supported by the Harli Tree exhibition of stunning art and photography on 22 November in London. Tickets are £10 and Professor Liz Kelly will be speaking alongside a Harli Tree representative and 20% of the proceeds will be donated to EVAW's work campaigning for a safer world for women and girls.
Please support our campaigning for a safer world for women and girls by making a donation. Every penny helps so many thanks!
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.
Follow us on Twitter @EVAWhd
For more information about EVAW see www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk
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