Northern Women March against Male Violence

Women, come and join us in making a stand against Male Violence!March poster coloured

On 1st July from 4pm Women of Manchester will march against male violence. We will gather outside Central Library. Afterwards from 6pm there will be a fundraising event at 3 Minute Theatre in Afflecks Palace, Oldham St. to raise money for Safety4sisters, a local charity who secures greater protection, safety and support for women experiencing gender violence with no recourse to public funds or facing barriers due to immigration status.

Male violence against women and girls is endemic and we want to come together to shout loudly ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! MALE VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN MUST STOP! Violence against women remains a big concern.

Violence against women take many forms including but not limited to physical violence, controlling behaviour, domestic violence, rape and sexual abuse, the production of pornography, prostitution, honour-based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage.

In 2017 alone between January and May 61 women are suspected to have been killed by men in the UK. This equates to one woman dead every 2.5 days.  17 of the 22 people confirmed dead in the Manchester terrorist attack were women and girls Whilst not to deny or denigrate the lives of the 5 men that were also taken, it is essential that we also view the attack as an attack on women.

Austerity cuts have had a massive impact on Violence against Women. In England and Wales two women a week still die from domestic violence, yet 34 refuges have closed under the Conservative government. In 2016 2/3rds of survivors were turned away from refuges. In the same year more women died in prison then have ever been reported. With Tax Credits now capped at two children, survivors will have to prove they’ve been raped to receive benefits for a third child.

The criminal justice system in the UK fails women experiencing violence time and time again. Although huge progress has been made over the past thirty years to change laws, develop policies and guidance with the criminal justice agencies (police, crown prosecution service, court systems) to better address violence against women, there remains a disconnect between statements of intent and what is seen in day-to-day practice.

In April 2017 a bill to end VAWG became UK law. This new law requires the government to set a timeline for the ratification of the Istanbul Convention and to report annually on its progress. However the UK pledged to implement the Istanbul convention 6 years ago, and this has not been ratified yet. Once implemented, the Istanbul Convention will protect women’s refuge housing and domestic abuse services across the UK and will tackle issues including sexual violence and FGM. The convention works by preventing violence, protecting women and girls who are experiencing violence and prosecuting violence. We call on the government to ratify this convention.

Domestic abuse affects one in four women. An estimated 4.6m women have experienced domestic abuse at some point since the age of 16. Domestic abuse often leaves victims with reproductive consequences too – including gynaecological disorders, sexually transmitted infections, pregnancy difficulties  and premature births. Domestic abuse has significant psychological consequences for victims, including anxiety, depression, suicidal behaviour, low self-esteem, inability to trust others, flashbacks, sleep disturbances and emotional detachment.

Through coming together on Saturday 1st July, we will be able to speak loudly against these atrocities and ensure that public pressure is put onto the state, holding them to account in order to end Violence Against Women.