I’ve come across Take Back the Tech a site that is looking at ways that ICT can be used to reduce the level of violence against women :
ka-BLOG! is a 16-day blog fest for the Take Back the Tech Campaign. It is open to anyone and everyone – girls, boys, everyone beyond and more — who wants to share their thoughts, write poetry and prose, post graphics / pictures, rant, rave, heckle, make snide remarks, stick their tongue out at violence against women, and how online communications can exacerbate or help eliminate VAW.
That seems like an excellent idea.
Women’s Aid has the detail on the scale of the issue:
- One in four women: An analysis of 10 separate domestic violence prevalence studies found consistent findings: 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence over their lifetimes and between 6-10% of women suffer domestic violence in a given year (Council of Europe, 2002).
- 12.9 million incidents: British Crime Survey found that there were an estimated 12.9 million incidents of domestic violence acts (that constituted non-sexual threats or force) against women and 2.5 million against men in England and Wales in the year preceding interview (Walby & Allen, 2004).
- One in five counselling sessions: Nearly 1 in 5 counselling sessions held in Relate Centres in England on 28 September 2000 mentioned domestic violence as an issue in the marriage (Stanko, 2000).
- One call a minute to the police: Every minute in the UK, the Police receive a call from the public for assistance for domestic violence. This leads to police receiving an estimated 1,300 calls each day or over 570,000 each year. (Stanko, 2000). However, according to the British Crime Survey, only 40.2% of actual domestic violence crime is reported to the Police (Dodd et al, July 2004).
- Women asssaulted by men they know: British Crime Survey research found that “women are most commonly sexually assaulted by men they know”. When the researchers asked women about the last incident of rape experienced since the age of 16, they found that 45% were raped by current partners, 11% by former partners, 11% were raped on “dates”, 16% by acquaintances and 10% by “other intimates”. 8% were raped by strangers (Myhill & Allen, 2002).
- Assaults from partners not living together: Of women who had experienced domestic violence, 25% had never lived with the partner who had committed the worst act of violence against them. (Walby & Allen, 2004).
- Fear of being killed: In a study of 200 women’s experiences of domestic violence it was found that 60% of the women had left because they feared that they or their children would be killed by the perpetrator (Humphreys & Thiara, 2002).
Locally the council have a page on their website giving details of the support that victims should be able to access and advice on how to deal with it. Much of the credit for creating pressure in the council for the issue should go to former councillor Colin Hastie. For the nine years I was a councillor Colin consistently made sure that the issue had a profile in policy and practice. He and his wife Jane were a formidible duo on this and woe betide the officer or cabinet member who brought forward community safety proposals that didn’t consider how Lewisham would reduce violence against women.
Nationally I’d also point to intiatives, such as the one by the Body Shop and Women’s Aid to get recycled mobile phones to women, which I thought was fantastic.
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