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EVAW Bulletin, March 2016
- EVAW at Downing Street and new Government VAWG Strategy welcomed
- Survey on sexual harassment in UK reveals it is most common form of abuse
- Young Black women speak out about racist sexual harassment
- London Mayor and Assembly elections – manifesto and ‘VAWGmayorwatch’ launched
- Come to our London Mayor hustings, 12 April
- Staff news – new Director(s) appointed
- Please support us to maintain our independent feminist voice
EVAW at Downing Street and new Government VAWG Strategy welcomed
EVAW representatives and many of our members were pleased to meet and talk with Prime Minister David Cameron at a Downing Street reception for International Women’s Day this month.
On the same day we welcomed the Government’s new Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy for 2016-2020 which indicates the Government’s continuing commitment to addressing abuse of women and girls in all its forms by supporting survivors, responding to perpetrators and trying to prevent abuse before it happens.
The new strategy notably makes a strong commitment to ensuring that refuge accommodation, helplines, Rape Crisis centres and BME specialist services remain available at a time when unprecedented levels of survivors are seeking support, and when local commissioners have shown patchy understanding of the independent, women-led specialist support services that survivors prefer. We recognise the good intention in the “National Statement of Expectations” which will be developed for local commissioners, and EVAW and our members look forward to working with the Government on this.
We also welcomed news that the Universities UK Taskforce recognizes a new response to sexual violence is needed, and the next stage of the Home Office prevention campaign Disrespect NoBody which speaks out clearly on difficult issues facing young people face including rape, sexting and pornography.
Survey on sexual harassment in UK reveals it is most common form of abuse
We were glad to be invited onto BBC2’s Victoria Derbyshire show this month to discuss the findings from our new YouGov survey on British women’s experience of sexual harassment in public places. The survey reveals that 85% of women aged 18-24 have experienced unwanted sexual attention in public places and 45% have experienced unwanted sexual touching. The survey also found that significantly more women than men say they feel unsafe in public places, and almost half are doing conscious “safety planning” if they go out in the evenings, such as avoiding public transport and paying for taxis, leaving early and taking a different route.
Young Black women speak out about racist sexual harassment
Alongside our survey, we launched a powerful short film with our member organisation Imkaan featuring young black and minority ethnic women in the UK talking about their experiences of being sexually harassed in public places and how it is often inextricably linked with racist stereotypes and abuse. We are delighted with the response to the film on social media and hope it will continue to provoke discussion.
London Mayor and Assembly elections – manifesto and ‘VAWGmayorwatch’ launched
Looking ahead to 5 May elections, EVAW and Imkaan today published a joint ‘manifesto for ending violence against women and girls in the capital,’ alongside a new ‘VAWGmayorwatch’ website which will track all Mayoral and Assembly candidates’ pledges in this area. After Easter we will issue recommendations on Police and Crime Commissioner candidates’ obligations to tackle violence against women and girls.
Come to our London Mayor hustings, 12 April
Please join us on Tuesday 12 April 2016, when EVAW and Imkaan will host a London hustings to find out what the next mayor will do to end VAWG in the capital. Chaired by Afua Hirsch (Sky News), the hustings will put questions to speakers Sian Berry (Green Party Mayoral candidate), Yvette Cooper MP (Labour Party, on behalf of Sadiq Khan), Stephen Greenhalgh (Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Conservative Party, on behalf of Zac Goldsmith), Annabel Mullin (Liberal Democrats Assembly Member candidate) and Sophie Walker (Women's Equality Party Mayoral candidate). The hustings will be held 6-8pm at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in centrsl London. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a place.
Staff news – new Director(s) appointed
We are delighted to share that our Board has appointed Rachel Krys and our current interim Director Sarah Green as new permanent Directors of EVAW in a job-share.
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.
Follow us on Twitter @EVAWuk
For more information about EVAW seewww.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk