Violence against women is a global problem. It exists in virtually every culture on earth. In fact, the World Health Organisation’s Director believes that” ‘violence against women is a global health problem of epidemic proportions.” But what is violence against women, and how can we tackle it?
What is violence against women?
The term violence against women means any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women. Therefore, violence against women does not mean only physical violence. Violence against women can take many forms. It can include:
- domestic abuse
- financial abuse
- psychological abuse
- sexual violence and rape
- trafficking of women
- female genital mutilation
- forced prostitution
- forced marriage
- ‘honour’ crimes
Why is it a problem?
Women make up over half the population, but they are affected more than men by certain crimes. For example, last year, 1.6 million women in England and Wales were victims of domestic abuse. In comparison, there were just 757,000 male victims of domestic violence. Furthermore, 20% of women have experienced sexual abuse, compared with 4% of men. Additionally, a survey in 2020 showed that 1.4 million women in the UK have been raped or had faced attempted rape. This compares to just 87,000 men. With prominent cases in the press, such as Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa many people are concerned about what the government will do about it.
What are the government doing?
The Home Secretary, Priti Patel, opened a Call for Evidence to hear directly from the public on tackling violence against women and girls. Over 180,000 responses were received, showing the government how important this issue is to the public. The government have introduced new crimes to tackle the problems of controlling or coercive behaviour, stalking, revenge porn and upskirting.
Additionally, they have:
- raised the maximum penalties for stalking and harassment
- ended the automatic early release of violent and sexual offenders from prison
- introduced new orders for stalking to protect victims better and those at risk
- strengthened the tools available to professionals
Moreover, a new Domestic Abuse Act has been passed this year. The 2021 Act will transform the response for the 5 in 100 adults who have suffered domestic abuse in the past year. The Act promises to protect victims more and ensure that offenders feel the full force of the law.
What can men do to help?
Many people see violence against women as a ‘woman’s issue’ with awareness usually raised by women. However, it is essential to involve men in tackling the issue fully. Men are best placed to challenge the attitudes and behaviour of other men. Men can also make a real difference in their daily interactions with family members, friends, and colleagues. It is also important for men to think about how women might feel.
Where can you find help and support?
tpm has a zero-tolerance approach to harassment, intimidation, bullying and violence. Moreover, tpm is committed to ensuring that all staff, apprentices, learners and visitors are safeguarded and protected from discrimination and abuse. Furthermore, tpm ensures every employee, apprentice and learner has a working and learning environment that promotes dignity and respect to all. Additionally, the safeguarding team are always on hand to talk concerns over.
There may be many personal reasons that, as a tpm learner, you would contact a safeguarding lead. Here are a few examples:
- if you are experiencing physical or emotional abuse
- If you are experiencing bullying or harassment in person or online
- If you are experiencing sexting or upskirting
- If you are concerned about another learner
All tpm learners are encouraged to speak to a member of the safeguarding team if they are concerned. As a rule, if your instinct tells you something doesn’t ‘feel right’, it probably isn’t! You can read more about tpm’s safeguarding team here https://tpmnow.co.uk/about-us/safeguarding/