Monday 25th November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting Karen Ingala Smith at the #socialceos Top 30 CEOs on social media*. Karen has set up a campaign Counting Dead Women which I first came across on twitter via @ladylaxton formerly at Brook and FPA and now at Women's Aid - you can follow the campaign @countdeadwomen.
I remember again being horrified at the level of violence against women and surprised the UK government does not analyse the data and report in the following ways 1. Women killed by men. 2. Women killed by women. 3. Men killed by men. 4. Men killed by women.
I am no expert but without this analysis i am not sure how possible it is ensure policy and resources are evidence based and adequate. Given the funding challenges the women's sector is experiencing data and evidence driven policy is critical.
Over the weekend I received this email from Karen as I have signed up to her petition to get Government to take action.
On Monday 25th November it is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. I’ll be highlighting the UK’s shocking record of women killed through men’s violence in 2013.Starting at 6.00am, on the twitter account @countdeadwomen, I’ll be going through the UK’s diary of women killed by men. I’ll be starting with the 2nd January when Janelle Duncan Bailey, was strangled by ex-boyfriend Jerome McDonald, moving on to 3rd January at 6.10, when Akua Agyuman died, two months after being stabbed in the chest and abdomen by her husband Minta Adiddo. Every 10 minutes, I’ll move through the year to commemorate all the women who I have found who were killed though men’s violence. So far I know of 112 women killed this year, so I’ll still be tweeting at midnight.I’d massively appreciate if you could circulate this information through your networks and if you’re on twitter, please tweet support or re-tweet.Thank you all for your support. We’ve reached 2,500 signatures now but I'm still the one doing the counting. As I've said all along, I'll keep doing it, until I'm convinced the government is doing enough!I suspect (and hope) there are more than 2,500 of us that believe that everything that can be done, must be done to stop this shocking and appalling number of women being killed by men. The link to the petition is here - please do lend your support to the campaign. To adapt a line from NSPCC - Violence against women can stop. It must stop. Full stop.
You can read more of the shocking facts and join the campaign here: http://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/stop-ignoring-dead-women
We are still a long way from eliminating violence against women globally and it seems it is all too easy to underestimate the problem in the UK. More, much more must be done in the UK to create safe school communities for girls, improve sex and relationships education (SRE) ensuring it addresses structural inequalities, violence and consent, as well as teaching about feminism in schools are all vital steps to ensure the change we want to see.
Platform 51 relaunches as The Young Women's Trust (@YWTrust) this week. I look forward to working with them to do our bit to campaign for and address young women's needs.
*Karen is on the list of top 30 social CEOs follow her @K_IngalaSmith @countdeadwomenAlso follow @pollyn1 CEO of Women's Aid and @womensaid