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Polly Neate

Chief executive of Shelter

Chief executive of Shelter

This Must Be The Start, And Not The End, Of Building More Social Homes

The government deserves credit for changing its course. It's good news that it is now acting to ease the misery of at least some private renters. If delivered, the new social homes promised will benefit some of the very people Shelter exists to help - those facing bad housing and homelessness.
06/10/2017 16:44 BST

Love Island's Jonny's Controlling Behaviour Towards Tyla Is Dangerous, Not Romantic

New arrival Theo had been trying to get the attention of Tyla, currently 'coupled up' with Jonny, and Jonny wasn't happy. But when Jonny said that Theo would have to prise Tyla from "his cold, dead hands", it was not romantic. It did not demonstrate just how much he liked her and it certainly wasn't funny. It was possessive and controlling. For a survivor of domestic abuse watching, it would have been a chilling moment.
11/07/2017 11:37 BST

The Domestic Violence And Abuse Bill Is A Once-In-A-Generation Opportunity

For too long women and children have been left facing a postcode lottery of services and a justice system that does not understand their experiences, keep them safe or deal with their abusers effectively. It is imperative that this country's response to domestic abuse does not simply stay focused on managing risk as it has done previously, but places the survivor at the centre; working with her needs and strengths to build long term safety and independence for her and her children.
21/06/2017 12:49 BST

Women's Rights Should Not Be A Casualty Of DUP Deal

Two women a week killed by their partner or ex-partner in England and Wales is not a number to be argued with. Domestic abuse is not an issue that can take a back seat while Brexit deals are negotiated. It is a reality that makes the current picture suddenly look so bleak, as the Conservatives look to form a minority government with the Democratic Unionist Party.
13/06/2017 11:01 BST

How Many More Women Like Alice Ruggles Have To Die Before We Learn Our Lesson?

How many more women must die before we learn the lessons? Dhillon made a choice to kill Alice. Two women a week, on average, are killed by a current or former intimate partner in England and Wales. It's not a crime of passion. It's not a fatal attraction, or a man driven mad by love, or a woman who secretly or subconsciously wants to be harmed. Men kill women because they can. And they can, not because women let them - but because our society, our culture lets them.
27/04/2017 15:39 BST

How You Can Help Grow Solidarity And Sisterhood For 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.
07/03/2017 17:27 GMT

Why I March

Thousands of women in the UK, right now, are denied the basic human right of safety in their own homes. They are robbed of their autonomy. They and their children are thrown in harm's way, again and again, by systems that should protect them but instead let them down. This is happening because when sexism asserts itself, not enough people say no. And then women are robbed of the power to say no. Well, we have that power and we are using it. That's why I march.
18/01/2017 17:21 GMT

Yes, Men Need Support For Domestic Abuse. No, Domestic Abuse Is Not Gender-Neutral

Victimhood is not a competition. There should be help for all who need it. But by cutting services for women, lives are put at risk. Of course men need support to recover from domestic abuse. But to deny that iceberg exists, to deny the roots of the still-rising tide of violence against women in misogyny and inequality, is to turn our backs on prevention.
14/11/2016 16:16 GMT

As Helen's Trial Begins, Refuges for Real-Life Helens Are In Crisis Again

As the trial of Helen Titchener begins, if her plight makes you afraid for real-life survivors of domestic abuse - so it should. And if it makes you think and hope that those real-life women have a way to escape, then you should be even more afraid. I'm here to tell you that their escape route is in danger of being shut down. As actors Louiza Patikas (Helen) and Timothy Watson (Rob) have portrayed so compellingly in <em>The Archers</em>, the level of control a domestic abuse perpetrator can exert over his victim, over time, is total. Yet, it is also often invisible to those around her, even those who care most - or even to herself.
05/09/2016 00:07 BST

Women's Aid and 'The Archers': The Drama of Domestic Abuse

When Women's Aid began working with The Archers on the depiction of coercive control - the gradual erosion of Helen's freedom, self-esteem and relationships by her controlling, abusive husband Rob - we hoped it would help increase public understanding of this sinister crime that is at the heart of domestic abuse. It has certainly done so.
06/04/2016 17:29 BST

The Unsung Heroes of Domestic Abuse

I can guarantee that near you, often in a secret location and always with nowhere near enough funds, women have been working for decades to keep victims of domestic abuse safe. They offer somewhere to flee for safety, working with women and their children as they rebuild their shattered lives. This is the face of charity we never see...
29/03/2016 17:14 BST

Love Don't Feel Bad - And Young People Need to Know It

We must counteract the bewildering messages about sex and relationships and the objectification of women that our children are mercilessly bombarded with. The Government must take this on board, and Women's Aid will keep the pressure up on them to do so, alongside other organisations.
11/02/2016 17:20 GMT

Domestic Abuse and Teenagers: The Coercive Control Offence Must Fulfil Its Promise

Young people and teenagers are far less likely than adults to know where to turn for help, and research shows that if parents think they would know if their daughter was being abused by a boyfriend, they are kidding themselves. Only a tiny minority of teenage victims would tell a parent. The new criminal offence is a significant step forward.
09/12/2015 16:53 GMT