Send a letter/email to your MP and/or to your police and crime commissioner.
Include the link to the Femicide Census www.femicidecensus.org Highlight that in the 1,425 killings of women by men in the UK over the last 10 years, as discussed in the report, common patterns were found; in terms of relationships, weapons and methods and women had often told someone about their abuse, the perpetrators often had known histories of violence and abuse and yet these women were still killed.
- Ask your MP/PCC to write to you confirming he/she has read the report
- Ask your MP to write to you and state clearly what steps and measures they [and/or their party as appropriate] will be calling for in the light of this report.
- Ask your MP/PCC to write to you with a break down on how much funding the local authorities/PCC in their constituency spend specifically on violence against women and girls and how much of this goes to specialist independent women’s charities and specialist support by and for women from Black and minoritised women
- Ask your MP to raise questions in the House about the findings of the Femicide Census 10-year report and about what steps will be taken by their own party and by the Government
- Once you have had a response, please forward a copy to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
You can find out who your MP is and how to contact them here: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/
Propose questions for your MP to ask of the relevant ministers (Home Office, Ministry of Justice, Equalities minister) in the house such as:
- Could the minister tell us if he/she has read the femicide census 10-year report and tell us what recommendations he/she will take forward and by when?
- Could the minister tell us what changes he/she will be making in the light of the fact that in nearly half (46%) of the killings of women by men in the UK between 2009 and 2018, the perpetrator had a history of abuse?
- Could the minister confirm for us that he/she has read the femicide census 10-year report and confirm for us that he/she shares the view that the violence against women and girls reported there is indicative of women’s continued inequality and discrimination and that as such the Government will immediately ratify the Convention on violence against women and domestic abuse (also known as the Istanbul Convention)?
- Could the minister tell us what changes he/she will be making in the light of the fact that in 67% of cases of women being killed by a current or ex-partner, she had spoken to someone about the abuse and that in 59% of such cases the perpetrator had a prior history of abuse?
- Could the minister tell us what changes he/she will be making in the light of the fact that the femicide census 10-year report [2009-2018] has called for centralised, sex-disaggregated, transparent and easily accessible and searchable data specific to violence against women, including but not limited to, Domestic homicide reviews, coroners’ notices to prevent future deaths, internal and independent inquiries concerning state agencies?
Attract local media coverage and support
Local news (print and broadcast TV and Radio) are often looking for stories, so it can be easier to garner local media interest, you could:
- Write a letter to your local paper highlighting the Femicide Census 10-year report and calling on local councillors to ensure adequate funding for specialist independent violence against women and BME organisations.
- Do some local fundraising activities with a photo opportunity and have photos for the media – perhaps involving your local MP or councillors – they are usually keen to have the photos in the media supporting good causes.
- You could write to the paper highlighting the context for these killings as one of endemic inequality and discrimination and citing the Census challenging the narrative of “isolated incidents” with “no cause for wider public concern”.
Donate and/or fundraise
The Femicide Census is independent of government funding and has undertaken all its work to date either through the good will and free time of the founders or through funding from individual private donors or grant making trusts. Donations are much needed and very welcome, similarly, you can fundraise e.g. sponsored runs, cook-offs etc and all sorts of other ideas. But in addition, specialist women only and BME women only charities all over the Country are struggling, you can also find your local service and donate to them too. https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/the-femicide-census
Sometimes violence against women organisations in your area can use the support of volunteers, it is not always possible, but it is worth getting in touch and offering if you have time or skills to share.
Become an activist
In addition to writing to your MP as we’ve suggested above, there are often a range of other activist opportunities to challenge violence against women, challenge policies which entrench poverty for some, challenge the hostile environment towards migrant rights, support the rights of people with disabilities, get involved in anti-racist campaigning and a host of other areas which also directly or indirectly may have a disproportionate impact on women experiencing violence. We highlight a few campaigns you may want to support here:
Don’t be a bystander:
With the material accompanying this event there are a range of links to frontline services which may be able to help. You may be able to find a safe way to share information with a victim or to help to contact support organisations on behalf of a victim is she wishes you to do so. In an emergency, of course, you may need to call the police.
But remember, women living with violence and abuse need to make their own decisions about what they want to do and when and how to minimise risk to themselves in doing so.
Similarly, if you overhear or witness people making insensitive and inappropriate comments about men’s violence against women or just ignoring it when it happens, then, if it is safe to do so, challenge such attitudes. People will often agree with you and be uncomfortable about it too – we cannot ignore such attitudes as they enable perpetrators and lead to impunity.
Thank you for your support.