This isn't just about asking Sheffield United to take a stand on violence against women and girls. This is about demanding that every single football club stand up for victims of sexual violence and refuse to work with players who commit rape and condemn those who harass, abuse and stalk a victim of sexual violence.
Sexual violence is a specifically reprehensible form of violence, and includes rape and any other attack of a sexual nature perpetuated against both males and females. Its repercussions can be iniquitous, and may include acute and physical repercussions for survivors and witnesses. Human trafficking can also lead to sexual violence, and I will be discussing the issue of 'modern slavery' in this article. I will also highlight the brutal effects of sexual violence in conflict.
It is far too easy to become desensitised to the pain and suffering caused by men like Chedwyn Evans, as their victims are not the ones we see on the football pitch every week. If a positive attitude towards gender equality is ever to be achieved, it is imperative that bodies like the FA impose tougher penalties on those who commit such serious offences.
Rape is only too often used as a weapon during many armed conflicts around the world and Denis Mukwege has made it his life's mission to help the victims of sexual violence. Because of his sterling work, the European Parliament has decided to award him the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2014...
A quick look at the comments under Adam Levine's 'Animals' video will leave you in no doubt about how 'sexy' the stalker look is perceived to be. In it, Levine is playing a butcher who doubles as a stalker, secretly following an unsuspecting customer's every move (Behati Prinsloo, played by his wife).
This week, the evolutionary scientist Richard Dawkins tweeted this to nearly one million followers: "Date rape is bad. Stranger rape at knifepoint is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of date rape, go away and learn how to think." Before that, he had tweeted: "X is bad. Y is worse. If you think that's an endorsement of X, go away and don't come back until you've learned how to think logically."Interesting for me, because - there's no subtle way to say this - I know exactly what it's like to be raped with knives involved.
Here is a young woman in a popular holiday destination for those with a limited budget - I'm not going to assume that she's working class, but I'm certain the journalists will have done. She having fun, she's drinking, she's apparently being sexual on her own terms. Someone filmed it and the whole thing went viral - oops. Enter the tabloids with their guidebook to acceptable women's behaviour and pronounce her unclean, apparently we've found a "new low" ... It's not long before social media is calling her "actual vermin" and a "repulsive slag". I failed to find anyone (other than feminists) criticising the men in any way, the woman in question has had her name and photo all over the internet today; where are the men?
As I learned from this event - and from the Global Summit in general - the effects of globalisation and immigration mean that the West can no longer sit back and allow the suffering of ethnic groups, particularly as some of their members now walk the streets of our egalitarian nation. Hopefully, this modest event was a first step in creating a dialogue between Somali victims and the international community about the reality of life as a minority in Somalia, and what we can do to help.
This week has seen a flurry of activity around an issue that for far too long has been forgotten, silenced or viewed as an inevitable consequence of war: sexual violence in conflict. All of this is extremely important - but in the rush to 'do something' about the horrific crimes being committed in Syria, Central African Republic, Nigeria, and other conflict zones, we should not forget some basic premises.