This Saturday is International Women's Day! It is also the annual Million Women Rise March against male violence. 10 000 women and children will march through the streets of London to raise awareness of male violence.
Male violence against women and girls is both endemic and systemic. It is a constant daily experience for women: from street harassment, poor access to women's reproductive health services and abortion, domestic violence and rape. From the Democratic Republic of Congo to Colombia to Libya, sexualised violence has been used to punish, terrorise and exact 'revenge' on communities in wars which are supported and created by capitalist demands for resources; whether this be conflict diamonds, mineral wealth as seen in the DRC, or simply land. Women's bodies bear the brunt of male aggression and capitalist greed. Male violence kills, tortures and maims millions of women across the world every day.
This is the reality of male violence against women and girls in the UK:
- One woman in four will experience domestic violence at some point in her life.
- Domestic violence has more repeat victims than any other crime (on average there will have been 35 assaults before a victim calls the police).
- Two women are murdered every week by their partner or ex-partner.
- One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.
- One woman in four will experience sexual assault as an adult.
- Only 5% of rapes reported to the police result in the perpetrator being convicted in court.
- Women are more worried about rape than any other crime.
- 250 cases of forced marriage are reported each year.
- Up to 1,420 women per year are trafficked into the UK for sexual exploitation
- One woman a month is murdered in the name of 'so called' honour.
- Nearly 90% of local authorities do not have a rape crisis centre.
- More than 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
The cost of domestic violence alone to the UK economy is £23 billion pounds a year with approximately 1 in 8 women experiencing domestic violence every year. Yet, government cuts to women's services and legal aid are forcing more women and children to live with abusive men as refuges disappear due to lack of funding and support programs for women and children close for the same reason. 10 women a week in the UK commit suicide due to the trauma of domestic and sexual violence. 2 women every week are murdered by male partners. This is the reality within which women and children live.
This Saturday, join the 10 000 women and children from across the UK (and Germany!) outside Selfridges on Oxford Street at 12 noon as they march across London to raise awareness of male violence. The march ends at Trafalgar Square at 3 where a mass rally will take place with amazing women speakers.
We will not be silenced.