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Eastleigh Labour Supporting White Ribbon Day and an End to Violence against Women

With over 40 women to date speaking out about sexual abuse experienced at the hands of Harvey Weinstein and the focus on sexual harassment in parliament, gender based violence has been a focus for the media over recent months. The #MeToo campaign took twitter by storm demonstrating the sheer number of women who have experienced sexual harassment and assault. As a result of this attention more victims are feeling able to speak out and ask for help, leading to a 21% rise in calls to US national sexual assault helpline. Whilst this may come as a surprise to many, in particular men, those working in gender-based violence are acutely aware of the sheer volume and impact of male violence against women and girls.

  • On average two women are killed by their partner or ex-partner every week in England and Wales. (Office for National Statistics, 2015)

  • Women are twice as likely as men to experience domestic abuse (CSEW, 2015).

  • 1 in 4 women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (CSEW, 2016)

  • Violence against women and girls’ offences make up 20% of the Crown Prosecutions caseload. (CPS VAWG report 2014/15).

  • Women are 5 times more likely to experience sexual assault than men (CSEW, 2015).

  • Up to 700,000 women are stalked every year (CSEW, 2012)

  • Of all reported cases of “Honour killing” in the UK in last 5 years the majority of victims were females (Dyer, 2015).

In Eastleigh on average 15 victims of domestic abuse are assessed as high risk of serious harm or murder each month (2015/16, Eastleigh CSP Strategic Plan). There have been 659 violent and sexual offences reported so far this year up to the end of August 2017.

The 25th November marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day. The first White Ribbon Campaign was launched in Canada by a group of men after the brutal mass shooting of 14 female students at the University of Montreal. The first White Ribbon Day in the UK was launched in 1998 and has grown stronger and bigger every year since then.

The White Ribbon Campaign UK is part of a worldwide movement led by men who know that there is never an excuse for violence against women and pledge to never condone it or stand by when they know it is happening.

The 2017 Labour Manifesto committed to establish a new “Violence Against Women Commissioner” who would help improve standards in responding to domestic and sexual violence, and ensure there is “stable central funding” for support services. Labour also promises to scrap the child tax credits “rape clause” (which requires survivors of rape to “prove” they have been raped before accessing tax credits) and to retain the Human Rights Act.

Violence against women and girls affects everyone and anyone can make a stand to make a difference. You can help tackle the problem by

  • Collect your White Ribbons by visiting Eastleigh Central Library on Friday 24th November between 10am and 2pm

  • Come and meet Eastleigh Labour Party as part of our national campaigning day on 25th November between 10am and 12noon. We will be wearing our White Ribbons and providing advice and support at our Office at 69 Leigh Road, Eastleigh.

  • Bring down any donations of robust toys, arts and craft equipment, good quality clothes and school uniforms to the Eastleigh Labour Office that we will pass to West Hampshire Domestic Abuse Services, your local domestic abuse and sexual violence service provided by the U Trust

  • Raise some funds for local domestic abuse services

  • Taking the pledge at https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/pledge/

  • Take action whether you have 5 minutes, a few hours or more time visit https://www.whiteribbon.org.uk/take-action/ for ideas

What can we all do?

  • Call out threats, intimidation and harassment by men against women

  • Challenge those who make “jokes” about rape and “wife beating”

  • Speak out against myths that blame victims for the abuse

  • Offer friends, family, neighbours and colleagues support by listening, being non-judgemental and sign posting to local support services.

Anyone affected by these issues can access advice and support by calling Women’s Aid’s 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247 or visiting the website www.womensaid.org.uk

0808 2000 247

In Eastleigh you can contact the You Trust via;

Telephone: 0330 016 5112

Email: spoc@theyoutrust.org.uk

Facebook: www.facebook.com/youfirsthampshire


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