After today, two women a week will still be killed in England and Wales, at the hands of a partner or former partner. The police will still receive one call every minute relating to a domestic violence incident. Three quarters of a million children will still witness domestic violence every year. This is not a counsel of despair. There is much we can do
I say ending violence against women and girls requires all of us - men and boys, women and girls, governments, communities and activists. I genuinely believe that we have a common goal. And I genuinely believe that we can work together in a way that does not reassert male power over women, that keeps women and girls at the centre, and focuses on transforming gender inequality rather than just adding men and boys.
What is the point of creating new laws when the ones we already have are not being used effectively? A law is only as good as its implementation. It is already possible to prosecute non-physical forms of abuse - including psychiatric injury, threats, stalking and harassment. We need to get the basics right first... I agree that the law needs to be strengthened - but not by criminalising coercive control. Instead, the government needs to abandon its gender-neutral approach to tackling domestic violence and start addressing violence against women for what it truly is - a deeply gendered crime.
His jail sentence, his crime, his life, his guilt. The language of the perpetrator is everywhere, yet the language of the victim is nowhere to be found. 439 words and Reeva isn't named once, referred to singularly at the beginning with poetic abandon: 'He killed his girlfriend.'What we have here is an insensitively-timed rumination on prison reform at the expense of a 'girlfriend' Simon Jenkins didn't even have the consideration to name. Spectacular timing in a year when it was revealed around 90% of all reports of domestic violence to police forces in England and Wales are taken no further.
The International Day of the Girl Child recognises the specific barriers faced by girls globally that inhibit their potential to act in and shape the world around them, and Malala is a perfect example for us. She is a girl, yes. But she is not helpless. She is a survivor, not ours to save. She is her own advocate.
Somewhere in the world, at this very moment, someone is being forced into a marriage, someone is being subjected to FGM, someone is being raped and abused, someone is being trafficked, someone is being denied an education, or the freedom to do and say what they want. That someone is likely to be a girl, and it is happening because she is a girl... Gender inequalities in terms of power are deeply entrenched and it will take sustained effort to shift public attitudes.
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).
As women-only carriages spread through public transport systems in Brazil, Thailand, India and Japan... it looks like the preventative, victim-blaming measure may be heading to the UK. According to transport minister Claire Perry MP, focusing energies on removing the victim from the situation rather than addressing the offender is the way to go when tackling sexual assault.
New research from Plan shows the shocking truth about adolescent girls in developing countries. In one of the largest studies ever undertaken of its kind, we talked to 7000 adolescent girls and boys in 11 countries about girls' opportunities. The findings are overwhelming. These girls are some of the most disadvantaged people on earth.
Psychological abuse and coercive control are just as damaging as physical abuse and even though our laws don't yet reflect this, they now have a chance to catch up to the common morality. Moreover, our government is now aware of the fact that our laws are leaving victims of a domestic violence vulnerable at the hands of their abusers.
This summit, attended by Heads of State, ministers and experts from all over the world is an opportunity to do so. While I am there, I will be thinking of women like Aliah from Yemen, who tried to run away from her new 30-year-old husband when she was 16, only to have her family beat her and force her back. Years later, those same widespread beliefs and traditions held in her community then forced her to marry off her own 16-year-old daughter. As we gather at the summit we must remember stories like these. These practices violate the fundamental rights of women and girls. Making child marriage and FGM illegal is critical. But it's not enough if nothing is done to challenge strong-held beliefs passed down through generations.