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Tackling violence against women and girls

Barnet’s Labour councillors will be hosting a series of listening events for women and girls on tackling gender-based violence
By Bella Saltiel

Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona
Credit: Ehimetalor Akhere Unuabona

Women and girls across the country have been highlighting endemic gender-based violence. The debate was sparked by the murder of Sarah Everard – a 33-year-old woman who was walking home from a friend’s home in South London when she was kidnapped by a police officer. Since her tragic death, women have been calling on authorities and the government to do more to tackle violence against women and girls. Now, schools are under fire after 10,000 allegations of sexual abuse in schools were published by the website Everyone’s Invited renewing debate on systemic misogyny.

Ahead of Barnet Council’s refresh of their Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy (June 2021), Barnet’s Labour councillors will be hosting a series of listening events for women and girls on tackling gender-based violence. The first event will be for women’s community groups and organisations and will take place online in April.

The events will be an opportunity for women and girls to share concerns, experiences and discuss solutions to ensure that the Council’s Strategy has their voices at the heart of the action to tackle violence against women and girls.

Barnet Council’s data shows that the number of domestic abuse offences each year in Barnet has increased from 2556 to 3146 over the last three reported years, with a higher percentage of reported incidents being investigated as offences. However, the percentage of offences where the perpetrator receives a formal sanction has decreased over the last reported year from 17% to 13.6%. 95 per cent of victims referred to the Domestic Abuse MARAC were female, and 95 per cent of perpetrators were male.

Women are also more likely to be killed by men. Karen Ingala Smith and Clarrie O’Callaghan have carried out a Femicide Census calculating that 1,425 women and girls were killed in the UK by men between 2009 and 2018.

On the 17th March, Hendon Town Hall was lit in orange light in remembrance of Sarah Everard and all other victims of violence against women and girls.

Barnet Labour Communities spokesperson, Cllr Sara Conway said: 

“Barnet Labour welcomes hearing from the organisations, groups and residents from communities across our Borough who have been in touch on women’s safety and related issues. We will be hosting a listening initiative to help ensure these voices are at the heart of the Council’s new Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy.”

 Cllr Anne Clarke (Childs Hill) and Labour’s candidate for Barnet & Camden said: 

“Women’s voices must be heard on this issue – which is why Barnet Labour are bringing together women from across the borough to discuss how we can take real steps to improve women’s safety.”

The listening events will be welcomed by members of the community who are concerned about tackling gender-based violence in Barnet.

If you or someone you know is at risk of violence there is support available. Visit here for more information.

You can also find support by visiting: https://www.solacewomensaid.org 

 


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