Male violence against women

As I am sure you will have seen, the recent kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard has captured the nation’s attention, and rightly so.

At a time when people across the country have pulled together to support each other during the pandemic, their common beliefs and values have been further strengthened in recent weeks, although sadly due to some terrible acts.

The 33-year-old disappeared as she walked home from her friend’s house in Clapham on 3 March. Sarah’s route from Clapham Common to Brixton was through some of the capital’s most populated and brightly-lit areas which are familiar with hundreds of people, many of them young women, who walk those streets every day.

Sadly, Sarah’s death was not an isolated incident. Every three days a woman in the UK is murdered by a man. Sarah was the 120th victim in 12 months, something that Jess Phillips MP drew attention to in her recent speech in the House of Commons; 4 minutes 45 seconds is the time it took her to read out the names of every one of these women. Why do we know so little about the other 119 women?

The reality is that these women’s lives have become statistics and this needs to change. Attitudes towards women need to change and the way we talk about violence like this needs to change too.

Whenever this topic is discussed, we make it about women but it should be about men. To quote Jackson Katz: “We talk about how many women were raped last year, not about how many men raped women. We talk about how many girls in a school district were harassed last year, not about how many boys harassed girls. It shifts the focus off men and boys and onto girls and women.”

It’s time for a paradigm shift. Whilst Jackson’s take on this topic is bold and blunt, I recommend that you watch and consider this: Violence against women – it’s a men’s issue