To end Violence against Women and Girls. It’s ambitious, we recognise that – but it is not impossible.
Last year we supported over 16,000 women and children across our services. We can see that the rate of domestic abuse and sexual violence is steadily rising in London with reports of rape and sexual assault up by over 20% and 144,000 reported incidents of domestic violence just in the last year. Prosecution rates for these crimes are at an all time low. The demand is growing faster than we can meet it and unfortunately some are left waiting for help in the middle of a crisis.
It can appear hopeless if you just look at these figures. As hard as it is to visualise, there is a unique person and story behind each and every numeral that makes up a statistic. A person who was in a crisis and who managed to find a way out by seeking support. A person we can learn from.
Our team are constantly building knowledge of the patterns and manifestations of abuse in all its forms. From the cowardly gaslighting and coercive control methods all the way to the calculated use of technology to stalk and everything in-between. We study these patterns to stay one step ahead, risk assess and anticipate what happens next so that we can provide the safest outcome for our survivors.
This reactionary work educates us on the culture of violence and how best we can prevent it. This is why we are so proud of our Children and Young People team who run brilliant events and programmes in schools and community centres to educate our boys and girls on these important issues. When the team come back from their sessions they are uplifted knowing that there is a future generation growing up to lead safer, stronger futures.
Our training and consultancy arm is also instrumental in our prevention work. The courses have been expertly developed to train employers and bystanders on how to recognise and prevent abuse. The police are reactionary and so are many such frontline services. It is the eyes and ears of the public that can make a difference in the early stages, the smart actions that could end up saving a life.
Not long ago violence and abuse was considered a silent crime, confined to the boundaries of ‘private life’, never to be discussed openly. Just look at the progress we have made so far! Look how many people said #MeToo, #TimesUp and confronted their abusers last year? Look how laws are changing and conversations are affecting behaviour, social norms and aspirations. There is much to do, but much to recognise and to fuel our hope for progress.
We disagree that violence and abuse is an inevitable or permanent part of a society’s fabric. These are the kind of crimes that silence their victims and make it difficult to detect, yes. Difficult, but not impossible. If we aim low, we won’t get anywhere. There is a global movement happening to combat misogyny, violence any abuse and amongst these masses are individuals who believed their voice matters. Will you #StandTogether with us to end violence in 2019?
Here is how you can:
1. Follow us on social media @solacewomensaid and join the conversation
2. Sign up for our newsletter so we can keep in touch
3. Become a fundraiser or make a donation
4. Make a noise when we campaign for change
5. Give some time and volunteer
To find out more about our Children and Young People team visit: solacewomensaid.org/solace-young-people
To read about our Training & Consultancy packages visit: solacewomensaid.org/get-informed/training-consultancy