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Police Services for Survivors of Sexual Assault and Rape

Nottinghamshire Police have put together a useful video outlining the services available to you from the police if you have experienced rape or sexual assault.

The video introduces some of the people you are likely to encounter, and explains what will happen at each stage, from the specially trained officers to people at the Topaz centre, from crime scene investigation managers to people from the Crown Prosecution Service. The video emphasises how seriously the police take such incidents and that you are always in control of each stage and what happens next.

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You can watch the video here.

Remember, in an emergency always call 999. To report a crime to the police at any other time, call 101.

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Women and Equalities Committee Response to Government Report on Sexual Harassment in Schools

The Women and Equalities Committee (WEC) report on sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools was published on 13 September 2016. The WEC report stated that the Government’s response to its report on sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools does not do enough to ensure schools tackle this serious problem.

The Committee’s report exposed the widespread nature of sexual harassment and sexual violence in schools. It found an alarming inconsistency in how schools deal with sexual harassment and violence, a disregard for existing national and international equality law and obligations, and a lack of guidance and support for teachers to deal with these issues effectively.

The report made 14 recommendations in relation to a wide range of areas including Personal Social Health and Economic education (PSHE) and Sex and Relationships Education (SRE), cross-Government strategy, whole school approaches to tackling sexual harassment and sexual violence, teacher training and the monitoring and recording of incidents. There were specific recommendations for Ofsted around inspection and the training of inspectors.

You can read the report in full here.

 

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European Commission’s New Study on GBV

A new study of attitudes towards gender-based violence in Europe was published last month by the European Commission, with the final report containing some worrying statistics for us to reflect on during our 16 Days of Activism campaign.

For instance, 27% of EU residents said that sex without consent may be justified under certain circumstances, while 12% of respondents said forced sexual intercourse was acceptable if the victim was “drunk or on drugs”.

Participants were selected from different social and demographic backgrounds across the continent, with a breakdown of the statistics for each country giving an insight into the best and worst nations when it comes to understanding what constitutes gender-based violence.

Romania and Hungary were consistently among the most likely to say that a given situation may be a justification for sex without consent, while those in Sweden and Spain were among the least likely to say so.

Among the other statistics: 24% said they knew of a friend or family member who had been a victim of domestic violence; 74% said they thought domestic violence against women was common in their country; and around one in six said that they considered domestic violence to be a “private matter” that should be handled within the family.

But there are some signs for hope in the future, with a few statistics providing a basis for “cautious optimism”. For example, 96% said domestic violence against women was “unacceptable”, although 12% said they did not think it should always be punished by law.

86% said violence against women was most likely to happen at home, whilst 19% said it was most likely to happen in public places or online and 17% percent mentioned the workplace.

The European Commission called for more attention to be paid to protecting women from becoming victims of sexual assault and gender-based violence, but said: “Across the EU there is widespread agreement that domestic violence, sexual harassment and other acts of gender-based violence are unacceptable or wrong.”

You can get involved with our work this month during the 16 Days of Activism campaign to combat gender-based violence. We are making the city orange until 10th December in support of the UN led campaign. Organise something orange, raise money to support us, go to school or work dressed in orange. Organise a paintballing event to support the campaign using orange paint. The options are endless! You’ve got 16 days. Share it using #orangetheworld and tagging @equationorg on Facebook or Twitter.

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Orange The World

Are you letting enough orange into your life? You may have noticed more people than usual dressed in the vibrant colour over the past week as part of the UN’s initiative to ‘Orange the World’.

It’s all part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, which runs every year from 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, until Human Rights Day on 10th December.

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The campaign aims to raise awareness of and speak out against gender-based violence and violence against women and girls around the world to effect change. In a show of support, many important landmarks and historic sites have been lighting themselves up orange. On 25th November, for example, the Berlaymont building in Brussels, which serves as headquarters of the European Commission, was lit up in orange to symbolize the continued focus on ending violence against women.

Closer to home, Nottingham has lots going on over the next week for you to get involved with. Show your solidarity by wearing orange and visiting the Market Square on Friday, 2nd December at 4.30pm to watch as Nottingham Council House is lit up in a spectacular fluorescent colour. The Sheriff of Nottingham will attend the switch-on in support of our work against abuse and gender-based violence.

Additionally, the University of Nottingham’s Human Rights Law Centre has organised a panel discussion on 6th December at 6pm to raise awareness about gender-based violence and the effect changing policies can have on victims.

The panel will be chaired by Professor Aoife Nolan, Co-Director of the Rights and Justice Research Priority Area and Professor of International Human Rights Law, with local expert on domestic violence Ms Jane Lewis appearing as a guest speaker. The event will be held at Highfield House and requires an RSVP to register your attendance.

Apart from that, expect to see lively activists dressed in orange all over the city to support our calls for an end to gender-based violence, including on the orange bus routes in Nottingham, which include the 34, 35 and 36 buses.

You can get involved too. Organise something orange, raise money to support the campaign, go to school or work dressed in orange. Bake some orange cakes. Organise a paintballing event to support the campaign using orange paint. The options are endless! You’ve got 16 days. Share it using #orangetheworld and tagging @equationorg on Facebook or Twitter.

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UN Officially Launches 16 Days of Activism

Around one in four women in the UK experience violence in their lifetime, often at the hands of someone they know, trust and love. Calls for increased and sustained funding for the organisations working on the ground to end violence against women and girls are at the heart of this year’s 16 days of activism against gender-based abuse.

UN secretary general, Ban Ki-moon, at the UN’s official launch of the annual campaign, said governments need to step up their support of women’s movements and civil society groups. He announced to the attendees dressed in vibrant orange scarves – the colour the UN has chosen to mark the action we must take against violence – that it is vital to address what is a human rights violation, a health concern and a major obstacle to development.

A specific goal for the UN regarding gender equality includes a target to end all forms of violence against women, including trafficking, other forms of sexual violence and harmful practices.

Funding work against such violence is pivotal, as is overturning the deep-rooted inequality that is visible in every corner of the globe, such as the difference in the rights and opportunities of men and women, and reversing the attitudes and social norms that condone or normalize such behaviour.

When world leaders adopted the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they recognized that ending violence against women and girls is at the top of their list for encouraging worldwide social development. But the action that has followed from the respective governments has been minimal in terms of both supporting the organisations that are trying to enact change and engaging with the ones that have been doing so for years already.

From what we have seen throughout our endeavours, there exists an active community with the fervour to push forward laws to protect women, advance services to rebuild women’s lives and implement comprehensive prevention of violence. During our #16Days of activism, we’re hoping to increase awareness of this issue, raise vital funds for our own work and support the UN initiative.

We must do all we can in these 16 Days to make the world aware of the problems that remain. Support us in any way you can – see how to get involved here.

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#16Days of Activism

Every year, the United Nations calls for people across the globe to take action to end gender-based violence for 16 Days of Activism. Violence against women and girls is one of the most widespread human rights violations in the world. During 16 Days, Equation and our supporters will be raising awareness of the 1 in 4 women in the UK and Nottinghamshire who experience domestic abuse in their lifetime.

You can help us to raise awareness and funds during the 16 days, promoting healthy relationships and domestic abuse response in our communities. We’ve put together lots of ideas about how you can get stuck in, whether it’s through buying a white ribbon, writing a story or colouring yourself orange… there are loads of simple ways to show your support! Want to get involved?

find out more

 

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White Ribbon Day

This month, as we do every November, we at Equation will be donning our white ribbons – and encouraging you to do the same. White Ribbon Day, which falls on 25th November, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

The White Ribbon Campaign is a charity organisation run by men, who are aiming to challenge the attitudes that condone violence against women from a young age.

According to a 2005 survey, 1 in 5 young men believe that women often ‘provoke violence’.  The campaign has been set up to provide positive male role models that are actively condemning these beliefs and their consequences.

Despite their efforts, they still find that violence against women happens more often than many men realise. And the sad fact is that men mostly cause it. Part of the campaign’s pledge is to never condone it or stand by and do nothing when it happens.

They are part of a worldwide movement and they need your support to help them raise awareness and educate young people, to ensure that one day violence against women can be eliminated.

In addition to their campaigning, they also engage in lobbying of MPs, organising and planning fundraising events, supporting local initiatives, and producing materials for teachers and resources for schools to educate young people.

You can get involved wherever you are, by spreading the word, ordering a white ribbon and wearing it, by making a donation, or just by becoming one of the growing number of men and women who will never allow domestic abuse against women to go unchecked or unpunished.

White Ribbons are on sale throughout Nottingham, including: University of Nottingham campuses, Nottingham Climbing Centre, Nationwide (West Bridgford), The Nottingham (Sherwood), Froth Coffee Shop (Chilwell).

Get a #whiteribbon Pledge Card when you buy your ribbons, or download it here. Take a photo of yourself with the card, and share it using #whiteribbon and tagging @equationorg on Facebook or Twitter.

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Why We Need to Reclaim the Night

On Saturday 12th November 2016, Equation joined 350 local women at Reclaim the Night: Nottingham’s biggest and noisiest annual grassroots protest against all forms of men’s violence against women.

What’s the point of Reclaim the Night?

We marched from the Forest Recreation ground into Market Square to demand an end to sexual assault, rape, street harassment, and an end to the victim-blaming of women who experience this violence.

In Nottingham, we know that women experience abuse, harassment and unwanted attention from men on a daily basis while out in public. 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence. These threats make women feel unsafe and change the way we live our lives – such as avoiding public transport or not going out after dark.

Equation supported this march as a way to reclaim our right to be free from these daily abuses and publicly ask our community to join us in demanding a better society for our girls and women.

Why did local women attend?

Kelly Bennaton, a marketing co-ordinator from Sherwood and an Equation volunteer, was among the women taking part in the march and rally.

She said to the Nottingham Post: “I agree with everything that this march is about – raising awareness of male violence against women and meeting with other women and making our voices heard.

“We are not willing to accept that we have to live in fear of rape or violence – we want to be able to walk the streets without fear.

“It’s really important to get this many women together to show that this isn’t something we should be silent about or discuss quietly.

Lydia Davies-Bright, 37, of Sherwood, supported the march as a steward and took her two daughters to the march, aged eight and nine.

She said: “In the 21st century, women are still unequal and they still experience violence in our patriarchal society.

“I’ve got two daughters and I fear for their future. As women we have to do everything we can to say ‘no, we’re not going to put up with this’.”

Photo gallery

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Find out more

Reclaim the Night marches started in Leeds in the 1970s and have since become a global movement. Find out more on the Reclaim the Night Nottingham website.

Get involved

Were you inspired by Reclaim the Night to join us in working to end domestic abuse? You can support Equation through events, volunteering and fundraising.

GET INVOLVED

 

 

 

 

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Petition: Encourage England & Wales Police to Include Misogyny as a Hate Crime

We’re proud to work in a city that is pioneering in so many respects: the first city to declare itself a FGM Zero Tolerance Zone; the first Police Force to record misogyny as a hate crime. Yet we’d like to see these approaches adopted as standard across the country to have a wider impact.

Nottinghamshire Police began recognising misogyny as a hate crime in April this year.

Hate crime incidents could include leering, groping, sexually explicit comments and sexual assault.

By recording incidents in this way, the Police aim to:

  • Raise awareness of the seriousness of street harassment
  • Encourage more women to report things that happen to them
  • Gather better intelligence to highlight how common such incidents are
  • Support affected women better

Since April, the Police have recorded over 50 misogynistic hate incidents and crimes. It’s great that Nottinghamshire Police have taken such a pro-active approach. We can all now act to encourage other Police Forces to follow suit.

There is a petition on Change.org that has already collected over 50,000 signatures, asking all Police Forces in England & Wales to adopt this approach. You can access the petition and sign it here.

 

If you need to report misogyny hate crime:

In an emergency, always call the Police on 999

Non-emergencies can be reported via 101

Or you can report online via True Vision, at www.report-it.org.uk

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#16Days Creative Writing Performance

During the #16Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, from 25th November to 10th December 2016, the United Nations is calling for everyone to come together and take action to end violence against women and girls. Equation is raising awareness of the 1 in 4 women in the UK and Nottingham who will experience domestic abuse.

As part of our #16Days campaign, Equation has been running a writing competition in association with Waterstones. Entries have come in from all over the world, with budding authors submitting creative pieces that celebrate women.

To commend our writers’ efforts and support the #16Days of activism, Waterstones is hosting a special event with Equation on Saturday, 26th November (2-4pm). The Sheriff of Nottingham will present our winning writer, and guests will be treated to a performance of some of the stand-out entries.

Come and enjoy this free literary event and show your support for #16Days of activism to end gender-based abuse. Register your attendance on eventbrite to secure a ticket.

REGISTER NOW

 

 

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