THE BLOG

How You Can Help Grow Solidarity And Sisterhood For All Women Everywhere

07/03/2017 17:27 | Updated 07 March 2017

all women everywhere

As the Chief Executive of Women's Aid, the national domestic abuse charity, I all too often see the worst experiences of women 2017. The fact is, that women are abused because they are women: because we as women are not equal. Abuse feeds off our inequality - and abuse feeds our inequality too.
 
Domestic abuse is one of the most violent manifestations of misogyny that there is. And. still, in 2017, the startling statistic remains: that two women a week, on average, are killed by a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales. Between 2009 and 2015, the Femicide Census proves that 936 women in England and Wales were killed by men. This is one constant in an ever-changing world: that women will die at the hands of men.
 
It makes for grim reading. But I will not shy away from the facts about domestic abuse - because we need to acknowledge them to make change happen. At the Women's March London, when I told the rally that sobering statistic, a group of young men standing near my colleagues could not believe what they had heard: "Two women a week? How can that be allowed?"
 
Indeed. How can that be allowed?
 
So there is one thing that I urge everyone who reads this to do: educate. Get clued up on the facts about violence against women, and do not be afraid to share them. Everyone needs to know just how endemic it is. People don't want to hear about domestic abuse. They certainly don't want to join the dots. And I understand why: it is depressing, and uncomfortable, and confronting. But if we are going to drive the culture change we need to keep women safe, we need to get talking.
 
And at Women's Aid, we can amplify your voices. A regular donation will help us work with government to make sure that our laws protect survivors of domestic abuse, or stop them from exposed to further injustices - and the government has shown time and again that it listens to us. It could help ensure a woman gets the right information she needs to leave an abusive relationship in the safest way possible, or let us work with a woman turned away from a refuge to find safety.
 
Despite the relentlessness of domestic abuse, at Women's Aid I also see the most incredible feats of the human spirit. It is a privilege to work with and for survivors of domestic abuse who, despite what they have been through, will not be silenced. Claire Throssell, who despite the murder of her two sons at the hands of their father, has not given up; instead, she is campaigning with us to protect other children. Mehala Osborne, who is paving the way for women in refuges to be able to vote anonymously after she discovered that she could not when she was in a refuge. Zoe Dronfield and Mandy Thomas, who work tirelessly to ensure that the terrifying abuse they suffered is not seen as inevitable, but as something society can confront and end. And many more - far more women than I can mention individually here. They know real fear, and that's why the fear of speaking out is worth it for them. They are driving forward real change for the survivors of the future. 
 
And you can get involved in other ways too. Find your local domestic abuse service and see if you can volunteer. Become a Campaigns Champion to support national campaigns on a local level. When women come together, we are unstoppable. We show that male violence is not inevitable. Solidarity and sisterhood are potent and powerful - and it's something we must nurture and grow, for all women, everywhere.

HuffPost UK is running a month-long project in March called All Women Everywhere, providing a platform to reflect the diverse mix of female experience and voices in Britain today

Through blogs, features and video, we'll be exploring the issues facing women specific to their age, ethnicity, social status, sexuality and gender identity. If you'd like to blog on our platform around these topics, email ukblogteam@huffingtonpost.com

Comments

CONVERSATIONS