Over the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence, we will be sharing our top priorities for the change needed to UK society and its systems in order to end violence against women and girls. We’ve consulted our frontline staff, who directly support women in London, and come up with our key asks in order to empower women to go from #SurvivorToThriver.
⚠️Raise awareness of the signs of domestic abuse to educate people about its drivers, and how we can end violence together. ⚠️
Education is such an important tool for prevention of violence against women and girls. From training the public, to working with children and young people, our staff work tirelessly towards a world where women and girls can live safe lives.
On Day 2 of 16 Days of Activism, we must:
📢 Make women’s homelessness an urgent priority, focusing on ‘hidden’ experiences of women’s homelessness, and the connection between homelessness and violence against women and girls. 📢
The 2022 Women’s Rough Sleeping Census found that experiences of violence and abuse are “near universal” for women who sleep rough. This is not acceptable. Help us to support survivors with accommodation by donating here.
⚠️ Increase the support that women can access for domestic abuse in maternity and post-natal services⚠️
Studies suggest that between 20% and 30% of women will experience physical violence at the hands of a partner or ex-partner during pregnancy.
Wondering how you can help? Donations enable us to offer our services to all women in London who need us: solacewomensaid.org/donate
❗Safeguard healthy relationships on our school curriculum and ensure that specialist violence against women and girls organisations are supporting schools to deliver early education to girls and boys ❗
@evawuk found that 80% of girls think schools need to do more to tackle sexual harassment and support young people’s sex and relationships education.
Our Children and Young people Team delivers a range of services, including prevention work, for families and young people living in the community. Find out about our work at solacewomensaid.org/solace-for-young-people
It’s Day 5 of the #16DaysOfActivism and our priority is:
📢 Increase services for perpetrators of abuse to help tackle the root cause of the violence and stop repeat victimisation 📢
Almost none of the perpetrators of abuse towards survivors in Solace’s services have accessed a perpetrator programme.
On Day 6 of #16DaysOfActivism, we are asking the government to:
⚠️Tackle the delays and backlog in the court system that are leading to continued traumatisation of victims of abuse and sexual violence⚠️
The latest Ministry of Justice data found that there has been a 31% increase in sexual offences cases currently waiting to start in the Crown Court in April to June 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.
The number of sexual offences waiting to go to the Crown Court now sits at a record high of 9,324 cases and adult rape cases are now taking around two years to complete in court.
Survivors deserve better. Our Independent Sexual Violence Advocates and Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates support women through the court process – donate here to help them continue their vital work https://bit.ly/46nFNJP
It’s Day 7 of the 16 Days of Activism and we are joining our sister organisations, Refuge, Women’s Aid, End VIolence Against Women Coalition, Southall Black Sisters, IDAS for 100, Iris Intervention, Imkaan, Agenda Alliance and Latin American Womens Rights Service to ask for vital funding to:
✊ Guarantee that survivors can get access to the community services they need by providing increased and sustainable funding for specialist violence against women and girls services ✊
Solace research shows us that survivors experience abuse for nearly 7 years, on average, before they reach Solace. The impact and trauma of this abuse affects them for very long time.
42% of those accessing our community services reach crisis point more than once and often need our repeated support.
Our priority for Day 8 of #16DaysOfActivism is:
‼️ Protect migrant survivors of domestic abuse who are still being left without support and vulnerable to abuse by introducing a complete firewall to stop data-sharing between statutory agencies and immigration enforcement ‼️
Research by the Latin American Women’s Rights Service shows that one in two migrant victims with insecure immigration status do not report domestic abuse to the police for fear of disbelief, destitution, detention and deportation.
We support the Domestic Abuse Commissioner’s firewall amendment to the Victims and Prisoners Bill.
On Day 9 of #16DaysOfActivism, we must:
📢 Ensure those fleeing abuse can access safe and affordable housing by increasing the amount of affordable and social housing across London 📢
Over 70% of Solace’s survivors have a housing need and we are still seeing those who have experienced domestic abuse are still not able to access safe and affordable housing.
You can help us to support more women fleeing abuse by donating to our life-saving services at the link in our bio.
It’s Day 10 of #16DaysOfActivism and we are asking the government to: ⚠️Provide financial security for women to help them leave when they may otherwise feel trapped by increasing benefits in line with inflation and lifting the benefit cap for domestic abuse survivors.⚠️
87% of the survivors we support have been affected by the cost of living crisis. Over half of survivors have had essential resources restricted by their abuser.
You can help us to support more women by donating to our life saving services https://bit.ly/46nFNJP
Day 11 of #16DaysOfActivism: ✊Ensure that there is a physical presence in the housing department of every council so all survivors can get emergency housing support✊
Older women we support have needed access to councils’ services, often fairly urgently, but online only services means that they are being left in dangerous and abusive situations as they don’t have the technical know-how or fear they are being tracked online.
We have specialist services for older survivors, help us to support them by donating at the link in our bio. And take a look at the work of our partner organisation, Age UK.
On Day 12 of #16DaysOfActivism, we are asking for: 📢 Regional and national commitments to separate funding pots for ‘by and for’ organisations supporting Black and minoritised women, survivors without access to public funds, disabled women, and LGBT+ survivors. 📢
Research by Imkaan has shown that specialist services by and for Black and minoritised women have been disproportionately impacted by funding cuts.
All women deserve access to services that serve them.
On Day 13 of #16DaysOfActivism, we are asking the police to ⚠️Guarantee that every police area has independent support for survivors of police perpetrated abuse⚠️
In the Met, 687 police officers and staff were accused of offences involving violence against women and girls between May 2022 and May 2023 – @refugecharity data.
Women should not feel unsafe around those who are supposed to protect them.
On Day 14, we are asking the police to: Guarantee that every police area has independent support for survivors of police perpetrated abuse.
Refuge data shows that in the Met, 687 police officers and staff were accused of offences involving violence against women and girls between May 2022 and May 2023.
Women should not have to fear those who are supposed to protect them.
Our ask for Day 15 of #16DaysOfActivism is: ✊Tackle the culture of minimising abuse and victim-blaming in the family courts and ensure that children’s voices are truly heard✊
80 percent of legal professionals felt that the family courts were likely to re-traumatise survivors of domestic abuse.
Our Independent Domestic Abuse Advocates support families through the courts – you can support their work by donating here.
This Human Rights Day, it important for us to remember that gender based violence is a human rights violation and threatens women and girls’ right to life, right to freedom from torture and the right to physical and psychological safety.
As we close #16daysofactivism, we urge you to stand with us on Human Rights Day as we join the call for Freedom, Equality and Justice for women and girls. This can only be done by taking a human rights-based approach to tackling violence and abuse. For us at Solace this means:
Working to prevent the violation of women and children’s rights through education and awareness raising.
Making sure that the most marginalised in society are prioritised and able to seek protection and get to safety.
Recognising that women experience gender inequality and gender-based violence differently, and that Black and minoritised women, disabled women, migrant women, LGBT+ people and all vulnerable groups are disproportionately impacted.
Challenging when violations of these rights are not investigated and calling for fair access to the justice system.
Tackling the wider gender inequality such as equal opportunities for empowerment, and distribution of resources.
Help us to keep raising the voices of women and girls by campaigning and by providing vital support services to more than 20,000 women and girls in London. Please support us by donating here.