Stats and facts may be boring but they are real people, real lives, real stories – ones we shouldn’t have to be hearing because in a modern enlightened society we should be doing better and not perpetuating gender-based violence towards women and girls.
1 in 3 women on the planet will be beaten and at least 1 in 10 raped during her lifetime, adding up to more than ONE BILLION women and girls including cis, transgender and gender non-conforming. In some countries and locales, it is 2 in 3 women. A quarter of a billion people alive today have experienced involuntary FGM in over 30 countries. 1 in 10 young European women experience sexually explicit cyberbullying and stalking.
In the UK, between 1 in 3 and 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime, and between 1 in 8 and 1 in 10 women experience it annually – 1.4m people. Less than half of all incidents are reported to the police, but they still receive one domestic violence call every minute in the UK. For bisexual and trans women the figures are worse – 1 in 2.
Women as victims of homicide in the UK are up.
The majority in the home.
The majority by partners and ex-partners.
There were 241 (and that one matters) female victims of murder, manslaughter and infanticide in the 12 months to the end of March 2019, up 10% on the previous year. Almost half (48%) of female victims were killed in a domestic homicide, with the suspect a partner or ex-partner in 38% of cases.
It may be Valentine’s Day but 75% of femicide murders are committed by current and former heterosexual partners, 75% in their own home and 90% by someone they knew. “Stranger danger” is rare. Nationally, nearly 200 domestic abuse victims are turned away from refuges each day. It’s time to fund services not cut them.
Whilst we are looking at ending early release for terrorists it should happen too, for abusers – some are let out on license and tagging after as little as 25% of a short sentence served.
“We have another form of domestic terrorism, it’s the violence meted out to women and girls in the home by the very people they should be safe around.”
Sexual harassment at work is experienced by some 50% of women, worse still – it is 66% among younger women aged 18-24.
33% of girls are sexually harassed at school, 66% are sexually harassed in public. Schools should be safe spaces but are still half as bad as on street harassment. It should be zero. And they are most likely to be abused in their own homes.
The majority of girls do not feel safe in their own neighbourhoods.(State of Girls Rights in the UK 2020)
Girls identifying as feminists are being bullied and are put off entering politics by the toxic abuse towards female MPs.
Gender-based violence is a reality, though there are victims and perpetrators of all genders. Of course, we want to end violence and abuse against all people, by people of all genders. The reality, though, is that 3x as many women as men are killed in domestic situations. A third of the men are also killed by men and another third by women who had been abused by men. 15x more men than women are convicted of domestic abuse. Domestic abuse is massive, over a million women a year, 10% of all recorded crime, but only 10% are prosecuted, fewer still convicted. Half of women in prison are themselves the victims of domestic violence.
It’s not getting better – it needs to.
It is time to stop violence against women and girls be it domestic, sexual coercion and violence, or ritualistic FGM. Misogyny, molestation, mutilation and murder of women and girls must stop.
Don’t send a card for Valentine’s, send a message – NO MORE violence or abuse. Let girls grow into women, unmolested, unharmed.