Violence towards women and girls
A shared responsibility
Violence towards women and girls, exploitation, misogyny and femicide are not new.
Our CLP Women’s Officer Abena Akuffo-Kelly comments on the debate which has followed a recent series of highly publicised attacks on women and young girls and the climate of established behaviours which need to change.
We are taught at a young age to police ourselves, to use a number of strategies to remain below the radar of perpetrators. To dress conservatively, as girls in the playground we’re taught to wear shorts under our skirts, as women our skirts should be a respectful length lest we direct undue attention.
We are asked to walk in groups; to protect ourselves from spiked drinks or injections from needles filled with drugs that can paralyse us. We must inform a trusted person of our whereabouts at all time. We have an unwritten curfew after which we must be safely in our homes otherwise we are wantonly welcoming violence, rape and murder.
This is the world we live in, this is our reality. But, things are changing.
The #metoo movement coupled with high profile murders of women have caused a shift in the narrative.
Perhaps as the victims and potential victims the onus shouldn’t solely be on our shoulders.
Perhaps men have to take responsibility for their behaviour and police themselves.
Perhaps wider society should be looking at ways and means to make sure that half of our population are not living in fear with their lives restricted by the menacing promise of violence.
On November 3rd, a community safety event will discuss some of these issues: join them if you can.
The police play a crucial role in making us feel safe.
More than ever they are actively taking steps to listen to us and support us.
Kent Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Scott has issued a Police and Crine Plan survey asking for the public’s views on policing services and priorities: this is an important opportunity to have your say.
Please complete the survey, let them know what they can do to help.