Time for change
The extremely devastating news of the kidnapping and murder of Sarah Everard is one that has shocked the nation. Everyone here at Garden House Solicitors joins me in sending our condolences to the loved ones of Sarah.
This news has prompted a wider discussion on the need for change. As many united in anger and grief this will hopefully encourage more young people to have the confidence speak out and report to the police if they have experience any unwanted sexual harassment or violence.
A shocking result from the UN Women UK Survey showed that 97% of young women aged 18-24 years old in the UK have been sexually harassed. Additionally, it was reported that 80% of women of all ages have experienced sexual harassment in public spaces. These statistics emphasise the need for change.
During a parliamentary debate which recognised International Women’s Day MP Jess Phillips said that “killed women are not vanishingly rare, killed woman are common”. Ms Phillips then went onto read the names of the 118 woman killed in the UK in the last year where a male has been charged as the main perpetrator, an exercise that took four minutes to read out.
Already, we have seen what is hoped to be the start of a positive change. On Monday the UK Home Office reopened a survey on tackling violence against women and girls. The Home Secretary is calling for evidence to inform the new Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy that she aims to publish next year. Priti Patel went on to say “I want the new Strategy to drive forward improvements in the effort to target perpetrators; to ensure that we are fully equipped to respond to the changing nature of these crimes; and, most importantly, to place victims and survivors at the heart of our approach.”
The survey takes around 20 minutes to complete and is open to men and women over 16. You can complete the survey here: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/violence-against-women-and-girls-vawg-call-for-evidence/violence-against-women-and-girls-vawg-strategy-2021-2024-call-for-evidence
Additionally, under the government’s Domestic Abuse Bill, councils in England will receive an extra £6m to finance the safe accommodation and support for abuse survivors and their families. This comes as a result of the number of calls and contact made to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline being more than 40,000 in the first 3 months of lockdown last year.
If you or anyone you know are experiencing domestic violence or abuse it is fundamental that you report it. Please remember that there are court orders that can be put in place to protect you from your abuser. If you would like more information on these orders, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01992 422128.
It is vital that everyone feels safe in the society that they live in, I hope that the devastating death of Sarah Everard will spark a change in attitudes to create a safer society.