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Last month marked the first anniversary of the tragic murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer. Her murder shook women’s faith in the institutions that should protect all of us and raised questions about the police’s ability to identify and deal with violent individuals. The crackdown on Sarah Everard’s vigil, and the more recent Charing Cross Scandal, have subsequently shown that misogynistic attitudes are a wider institutional problem in the police. At the same time, the pandemic saw an increase in reports of domestic abuse, generally by male perpetrators against women, highlighting that violence against women is a wider societal problem. Between March and June 2020, the police recorded a seven percent increase in such offences in comparison with the same period in 2019, and an 18% increase in comparison with that period in 2018. Meanwhile, as pandemic restrictions eased and many re-started their paused social lives, reports of spiking soared. In 2021 there were 1,466 reports of spiking made to police, while the Alcohol Education Trust told the Home Affairs Select Committee that 15% of women had been spiked in their lifetime, in comparison with seven percent of men. The Conservative Government has shown a willingness to engage with these extremely serious issues. In direct response to Sarah Everard’s murder, Home Secretary Priti Patel announced the ‘Tackling violence against women and girls strategy’ last July. The strategy has been accompanied by the introduction of the Safer Streets Fund, the Domestic Abuse Act, and now plans to make cyberflashing a criminal offence. But questions remain over the effectiveness of these initiatives and whether or not the Government needs to do more. How can we ensure the wider social conversation regarding violence against women, that the Government and other institutions are now engaging in, maintains momentum long enough to effect real action that brings real change?

This episode of Bright Blue TV will see former Chair of the Women and Equalities Select Committee, Maria Miller MP, Senior News Reporter at The Guardian, Alexandra Topping, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, Farah Nazeer, and former Chief Leader Writer for The Observer and Adviser to Women in Prison, Yvonne Roberts, explore these questions, with Senior Researcher, Phoebe Arslanagić-Wakefield, as host.

 

Date:

Wednesday 20 April 2022, 13:30 – 14:00

Q&A:

Attendees can submit questions, before or during the event, via Slido by using the code #bbtv or by clicking here

Location:

To watch the livestream, simply click here at 1:30pm. Subscribe to our YouTube channel to make sure you don’t miss it.