Tag Archives: violence against women and girls

Wera Hobhouse MP: “Women will not be silenced. We have had enough.”

The appalling murder of Sarah Everard and the inappropriate Police action in response to the vigil last Saturday night came too late for the Conference motions deadline, so the Federal Conference Committee used its power under the standing orders to allow our Westminster Women and Equalities spokesperson, Wera Hobhouse, to make a statement on the events and the issues they raised. Here it is in full:

The killing of Sarah Everard horrified a whole nation.
That sickening feeling when we heard she was missing.
The wait. The search. As we all tried to hold on to hope, even as we feared the worst.
And then it came.
The heart-breaking news
This is every woman’s nightmare, every parent’s nightmare, every sibling’s nightmare, every friend’s nightmare. It could have been us – no, this is us. It is our fear, it is our reality.
I think Sarah’s death hit us all so hard because we know it could really have been any woman.
Sarah, a thirty-three-year-old marketing executive who grew up in York, studied in Durham, and then moved to London.
Who lived in Brixton Hill and had just started a new job.
A young woman who her family described as “bright and beautiful”, “kind and thoughtful”, “caring and dependable”.
Who “always put others first and had the most amazing sense of humour.”

Our thoughts have been with Sarah’s family ever since we heard Sarah was missing.
And our hearts go out to them still.
We grieve with them.
And we are angry.

Because – while the killing of a woman by a stranger is particularly awful and relatively rare – violence against women and girls is not.
On average, a woman is killed by a man in the UK every three days.
Every three days.
Most of them killed by their partner or their ex.
Their lives viciously snatched away. The lives of their family and friends destroyed.
Why does it keep happening?
Because beneath these evil killings lies a culture of normalising sexual harassment, abuse and violence.
This culture doesn’t only target women, men are victims too. But 99% of the perpetrators are men.

This is what we need to talk about. Let’s start changing our language. Not ‘violence against women’ as if there were no active perpetrators. Let’s call it violence by men.
More than six hundred thousand women are sexually assaulted each year,
And only one in six report it to the police.
More than fifty-thousand women reported being raped last year,
Only fourteen-hundred rapists were convicted. Why?
Because our culture, our language and our criminal justice system still works around the assumption that rape was to some extent the woman’s own fault. She asked for it, she provoked it. She consented.
99% of perpetrators of sexual violence are men. They are all too often missing from the discussion.
Rape continues to be normalised by the absence of talking about the perpetrators.
Many women experience harassment and discrimination in the workplace on a daily basis.
Many women receive appalling abuse online – threats and intimidation, for daring to have an opinion.
Too many women never feel safe on our streets.
Everything has to change.
Women are speaking up. More men should do the same.

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Lib Dems call for Commission on preventing violence against women and girls

Our Editor, Caron, was up with the lark this morning to appear on Good Morning Scotland, calling for a Commission to allow women to feel safe on the streets. Caron is the party’s Scottish spokesperson on equality.

Reflecting on the anger felt by women over the last week, Caron said that it is important to “channel that anger into something constructive”. The party is proposing a commission, to report back within a year, “aimed at preventing violence against women and girls in all its forms”. The hope is that all parties can get behind this – “to properly address the fact that women don’t feel safe on the streets – and often not in their homes”. Caron said:

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Reflections on my day – 15 March 2021

Usually, if I can, I write something at the beginning of the day. Today, however, I didn’t, as I wanted to leave space for Caroline Pidgeon’s powerful piece on violence against women.

And, at the end of the day, having looked at the comments, I’m pretty depressed. A series of men either blaming a small minority, or changing the subject, or just being blind and deaf to the words of those who actually suffer from abuse and violence. Bluntly, it isn’t a small minority of men, unless they’re awfully active given the statistics indicating that most women have been victims. And let’s change the subject, why don’t we? Anything rather than face the fact that, because of the behaviour of some men (yes, I know, not all… nada, nada, nada), women and girls make decisions that restrict their freedom of action because of the risks that exist. We, as a society, need to address that and, sadly, because the overwhelming proportion of violence against women is at the hands of men, the attitudes of men have to change. Some of you whose comments suggest that your liberalism is more polite veneer than instinctive – acknowledging that some of you aren’t liberals anyway – make me more than uncomfortable. The word is embarrassed.

Posted in Op-eds | 24 Comments

16 days of Activism against Gender-based Violence

25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and 10 December is International Human Rights Day. The ALDE Party is marking the two days with a campaign running between them, focusing their efforts on the fight for the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls. As Jacob Moroza-Rasmussen, the ALDE Party’s Secretary General, puts it;

Combatting violence against women is a priority for Europe’s Liberals (as stated in our 2019 electoral manifesto) and we continue to call for the European Union and all EU Member States to ratify the Istanbul Convention. As Liberals, we are also committed to promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls, and to working for the same rights and opportunities across all sectors of society, including economic participation and decision-making.

The campaign starts with a Liberal Breakfast at 8.30 a.m. GMT which will;

Posted in Europe / International and News | Leave a comment

Sexual harassment and assault of women on trains must be taken more seriously

I am rather embarrassed when I see members of my own gender rushing into comments threads about women’s rights/safety with “This is sexist against men”/”What about men/everybody”-type comments.

A) It’s boring. B) It’s embarrassing. Do they not realise how stupid they look?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

Martin Horwood MP writes…Reducing the negative impact of violence on international development

Every five minutes a child dies from violence.

This appalling statistic, released in a new report from Unicef UK today, shows that violence is not confined to an unlucky few or even to war zones. Across the world, millions of children bear the brunt of an epidemic of violence that is often hidden or ignored and that threatens their rights to a healthy, safe and fulfilling life.

Violence manifests itself in many forms. Unicef UK’s research reveals that more than 125 million women, most in early childhood or adolescence, have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). In some regions, the child murder rate is shockingly high, especially for teenagers.  For example, an adolescent boy in Latin America is 70 times more likely to be murdered than in the UK.

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The Independent View: Ending female genital mutilation and early marriage will also help tackle HIV

Youth group, SRH, BangladeshThe leadership shown by the UK government – and in particular the Liberal Democrats and Lynne Featherstone MP – on ending female genital cutting or mutilation (FGC/M) in a generation has been ground breaking and inspiring. The upcoming Girl Summit is a timely opportunity, hot on the heels of the recent Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict, to promote girls’ and women’s rights to live free from violence and discrimination and achieve their potential.

There’s no doubt that ending child, early and forced marriage and female …

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LibLink: Lynne Feathestone: We must stop violence before it starts

Ellison Sau, Project Manager for the Men Against Violence Against Women (MAVAW) program at Live and Learn, holding a ‘Stop! Violence against women!’ signIn a blog post on the Department for International Development website, as the London summit on ending sexual violence takes place, Lynne Featherstone has been writing about what the UK Government is doing to end violence against women and girls.

She talks about the scale of the problem and the importance of identifying why it happens:

Globally nearly 1 in 10 women has experienced sexual violence by someone

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: A long road ahead to stop gender based violence, but we are on the right track

Lynne Featherstone has been writing for local paper in her constituency about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the works she’s doing in Government aimed at dealing with the global problem of violence against women and girls:

Over the last year, I have spearheaded a new multi-million pound programme to tackle one of the most extreme manifestations of gender-based violence – female genital mutilation (FGM). And because of this solid foundation of work and momentum, this July the prime minister will host a major summit to tackle FGM as well as early …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women

New york police  Some rights reserved by Amiga-Commodore Development Minister Lynne Featherstone spent two days in New York earlier this week at the United Nation’s annual Commission on the Status of Women. She posted a series of blogs from the Big Apple. Here are some highlights.

Day One:

I’ll be attending a whole load of events as well as talking to my counterparts from around the world to ensure the CSW negotiations lead to a

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Liblink: Lynne Featherstone on breaking the link between violence against women and HIV

The UK is supporting HIV intervention in Malawi and others must help to break this tragic cycle, say Lynne Featherstone and Annie Lennox in the Guardian.

Tears may dry in seconds. Bruises may disappear in days – and scars might eventually fade. But of all the devastating consequences of violence against women and girls, there is one lasting impact that cannot be hidden underneath clothing or concealed behind a forced smile. In sub-Saharan Africa, every minute of every day a woman becomes infected with HIV, adding to the tragic and persistent spread of the HIV/Aids epidemic.

The brutal fact is that …

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LibLink…Lynne Featherstone: Bringing a worldwide end to violence against women and girls

Over at the Huffington Post, Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone writes about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women which is this year focusing on violence against women and girls.

First she talks about what the UK Government is doing to tackle this problem which affects 1 in 3 women worldwide:

The Coalition Government has provided nearly £40 million of ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services, and national helplines.

We’ve invested in changing attitudes and behaviours. You may have seen the UK television adverts we’ve launched to tackle rape and relationship

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Hussein-Ece and Brinton on stalking, under-representation of women and gender-based violence

November 25th saw the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. This occasion was marked by a debate in the House of Lords last Thursday.

Just reading the Hansard account of the debate made me feel sick. There was a former surgeon describe the hours of surgery it took to reconstruct one woman’s face after a violent attack by her partner. There were descriptions of how girls as young as 12 were subjected to Female Genital Mutilation in this country despite laws against it. Where is the worst place in the world to be a woman? Reputedly …

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Jeremy Browne MP writes… Confronting violence against women

Since the General Election, crime across England and Wales has fallen by 10%. It is now at its lowest level since the official crime survey began over thirty years ago. This is important news, and as Minister for Crime Prevention, it is my job to scrutinise these trends and to help them continue.

But amidst this positive news we must not lose sight of those statistics and stories which show we have a long way still to go. Violence against women and girls is one of those areas.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

LibLink: Lynne Featherstone on eliminating violence against women and girls

On the occasion of her first visit to Zambia and the UN Day for eliminating violence against women, Lynne Featherstone writes on Huffington Post:

Physical and sexual abuse of women is a global scourge, that transcends borders. From the UK, where one in four women will be the victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime to Zambia, where 47% of women have suffered gender-based violence. Much has been done to improve

Posted in LibLink | 5 Comments
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