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Consent for Consent Campaign launched to put relationships into the National Curriculum

A coalition of women’s rights, education, child protection, sexual healthcare and young people’s campaign organisations today launched a pop up campaign to give backing to plans to amend the Children and Families Bill to make sex and relationship education a part of the National Curriculum. Following on from the One Billion Rising Campaign and widespread concerns about the sexual harassment and abuse of young people, Labour Shadow ministers Lisa Nandy, Sharon Hodgson and Stella Creasy have tabled a new clause to the bill to ensure relationship education is taught in schools. Shadow Home affairs minister Stella Creasy said: 

“For too long now we’ve had warm words but no action on improving sex and relationship education in our schools, despite repeated calls for all boys and girls get these lessons. When we’re teaching children about compost and compound interest but not consent something has to change. Sexual harassment, violence and abuse affects millions of young people in Britain –that’s why we have to teach them not only about the biology of sex but to respect each other and have healthy relationships. This coalition shows just how many parents, domestic violence and sexual health charities agree as well as young people themselves. Hoping schools will do this isn’t good enough – its time to put consent on the curriculum”

Shadow Education Minister Lisa Nandy said:

“Recent research by the Children’s Commissioner found a shocking number of young people don’t know what a good relationship looks like. This should be a wake up call that we are simply not doing enough to keep children safe. Education is vital to help young people protect themselves from harm. Child abuse is sickening but it is not inevitable and we have a duty to prevent it. Children have a right to expect that from their Government.”

Women’s Aid Ambassador Jahmene Douglas said:

“As the Ambassador for Children and Young People at Women’s Aid I feel passionately that young people should be taught about healthy relationships in school, and that we need to do this if we are ever going to reduce the amount of domestic violence. Following the debate in Parliament in February this Bill presents the Government with a great opportunity to ensure that all children have access to the good quality sex and relationship education they need and are asking for.”
Laura Bates, the Campaigner behind the Everyday Sexism Project said:

“The huge number of stories the Everyday Sexism Project has received from children and teenagers shows beyond doubt that there is an urgent need for far greater information and support to be provided in schools. Many of the young people who contact us are confused and scared about sex they have seen videos shared online or on mobile phones. Others have reported the far end of the playground being called “the rape corner” and young people saying “rape is a compliment really” in classroom discussions. It is time to ensure this most vital of topics is properly covered by the national curriculum”

New Clause 20 of the Children and Families bill will come before parliament on Tuesday 11 June 2013. This campaign has the support of Womens Aid, End Violence Against Women, Brook, Family Planning Association, NSPCC, The PSHE Association, National Union of Students, No More Page3, Everyday Sexism , the EQUALS coalition and the Terrence Higgins Trust.

Ends

Notes

  1. This campaign is formally supported by Womens Aid, End Violence Against Women, Brook, Family Planning Association, NSPCC, The PSHE Association, No More Page3, National Union of Students, Everyday Sexism , the EQUALS coalition and the Terrence Higgins Trust. Mumsnet will also be promoting this campaign and willing to give quotes.
  2. Research by Women’s Aid shows 50% of 16-18 year olds wouldn’t know where to go to get support if affected by domestic abuse and 18% were unsure or didn’t believe slapping counted as domestic violence. YouGov found almost a third (29%) of 16-18-year-old girls say they have been subjected to unwanted sexual touching at school[1], and the NSPCC found that a third of girls in relationships aged 13-17 have experienced physical or sexual violence in relationships, while one in 16 of this group reported experiencing rape[2].
  3. Polls consistently show overwhelming support amongst parents, the public and students for compulsory SRE at secondary level in particular. NAHT poll of parents http://www.naht.org.uk/welcome/news-and-media/key-topics/parents-and-pupils/parents-want-schools-to-manage-dangers-of-pornography-says-survey/ and EVAW poll  http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/news/98/womens-groups-urge-pm-to-take-urgent-action-to-prevent-abuse
  4. The Deputy Children’s Commissioner’s recent report on children’s access to porn found that it is widely available and that there is a clear correlation with harmful attitudes and behaviours. There are clear gender differences, with girls feeling much more uncomfortable when they are exposed to porn, and boys more willingly seeking it out. The report recommended that “The Department for Education should ensure that all schools understand the importance of, and deliver, effective relationship and sex education which must include safe use of the internet. A strong and unambiguous message to this effect should be sent to all education providers including: all state funded schools including academies; maintained schools; independent schools; faith schools; and further education colleges.” http://www.childrenscommissioner.gov.uk/content/publications/content_667
  5. EVAWs report Deeds or Words? developed with experts on violence against women found that education policy was a weak link in government work on preventing abuse and called for compulsory SRE, amongst other measures. http://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/data/files/Deeds_or_Words_Report.pdf
  6. Ofsted recently found that PSHE is not good enough in a substantial proportion of schools and that this is leaving young people vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. http://www.ofsted.gov.uk/resources/not-yet-good-enough-personal-social-health-and-economic-education-schools
  7. The Government recently announced plans to put gardening on national curriculum http://www.thesundaytimes.co.uk/sto/public/school_meals/article1251936.ece and to put personal financial education on curriculum http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/personalfinance/9855051/Personal-finance-education-to-be-compulsory.html
  8. New Clause 20 will be debated on Tuesday 11 June 2013 as part of the Children and Families Bill in the House of Commons. The Report stage of the Children and Families Bill will be on Tuesday 11 June 2013. This bill covers a mixture of legal issues around children and young people including adoption, care and education. Labour has tabled amendments to this Bill which would ensure that all schools provide sex and relationship education for all students. If the amendment is passed it will go to The House of Lords to be debated as part of the wider Bill including passage through Committee.
  9. The One Billion Rising Campaign brought the following motion to parliament which secured cross party support for the issue:

“That this House notes the One Billion Rising Campaign, and the call to end violence against women and girls; and calls on the Government to support this by introducing statutory provisions to make personal, social and health education, including a zero tolerance approach to violence and abuse in relationships, a requirement in schools.” http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201213/cmhansrd/cm130214/debtext/130214-0002.htm#13021465000001

Full text of the proposed New Clause 20 can be read here

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Visualising One Billion Rising

Great visual put together by the Southbank Centre who hosted a number of One Billion Rising Events and will host the WoW: Women of the World Festival from 6th – 10th March

Southbank Centre

One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising.

Today ONE BILLION women and those who love them to WALK OUT, DANCE, RISE UP, and DEMAND an end violence against women and girls.

#WOW2013
www.southbankcentre.co.uk/wow

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Holly Peacock

obr_logo-web

My friend and I managed to get the afternoon of 14 February off work and we signed up to one of the many  One Billion Rising  Facebook events organised by local women.

Supporting the aim of Eve Ensler’s  V-day event – to raise awareness of the 1 in 3 women worldwide who will be victims of rape or violence – we skim read the day’s requirements of wearing red and black and joining in a protest to Dance! Strike! Rise!

Simple enough, we thought, and on the day we find ourselves in the office bathroom running late and questioning if our protest themed  outfits were “black and red enough”.

The answer is of course, no. They are not. My friend was in something maroon and I in a compilation of dark blues.

We decided the best course of action was to wear red lipstick, and off we trotted…

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Stella Creasy MP Rising [with apologies to Coldplay]

Labour MP Stella Creasy shares some of her record collection and why she is rising as part of One Billion Rising

One Billion Rising Events List

Across the country from Aberdeen to York via Belfast, Liverpool and Hastings, women and those who love them will be rising on V-Day calling for an end to violence against women

· Aberdeen Rising, 4.30pm, Outside St Nicholas Centre, Aberdeen · Barnstaple Rising, 12 noon, Old Bus Station Café, Barnstaple · Basildon Rising, 2pm, Town Centre, Basildon · Flash Mob Dance, 12.30pm, Barnstaple · UoB Flashmob, 12 noon, University of Bedfordshire, Bedford · Belfast Rising, 12 noon, Victoria Square, Belfast · Rise Against Violence, 7pm, City Hall, Belfast · Share The Love, 8pm, Tapeley Park, Bideford · Playing Our Part, Bingley, Bradford · 5 Rhythms & One Billion Rising, 7.30pm, Brighton and Hove High School, Brighton · Charity Chuckle: Stand Up To End Violence Against Women, Komedia, Brighton · Dance Dance Party Party V Day Fundraiser, 7pm, Upstairs at the Hobgoblin, Brighton · Sussex University Rising, 12 noon, University of Sussex, Brighton · V Day Dance, 6pm, Being in Unity Studios, Brighton · Bristol Rising, 7pm, Soundworks, Bristol · The Vagina Monologues, 6.30pm, UWE St Matthias SU Bar, Bristol · Rising World Music and Dance Event, 12 noon, various locations, Bristol · Rise with Nia, 7pm, The Space Upstairs, Burntisland · Flashmob, 1pm, Cardiff · A Very British Rising, 6.30pm, The Cornerstone Centre, Cheltenham · Coventry Rising, 12.30pm, City Centre, Coventry · The Vagina Monologues, 7pm, The University of Warwick, Coventry · Durham Dames Arise!, 12 noon, Market Place, Durham · Flashmob, 12 noon, Waverley Train Station, Edinburgh · Rising with Engender!, 1pm, Scottish Parliament, Edinburgh · Beyoncé Flashmob, 7.05pm, Exeter · Exeter Rising, 6pm, Cathedral Green, Exeter · Dancing in the Street, 12 noon, Moray, Forres · Glasgow Rising, Stereo, Glasgow · Philanthrobeats vs. Rubix, 11pm, Sub Club, Glasgow · Glasgow Women’s Aid, 1pm, St Andrews in the Square, Glasgow · Valentine Boogie Day, 5pm, YMCA, Glenrothes · Gloucester Rising, 12 noon, location TBC, Gloucester · Surrey Rising, Guildhall, Guildford · Halifax Rising, 5pm, Halifax · Hastings Women Rising, 5.30pm, Outside Café Nero, Hastings · Cornwall Rising, Skate Park, Hayle · Rise and Dance, 11am, Barn behind Harvest Moon, Hitchin · Drum and Dance, 1pm, Callanish Stones, Isle of Lewis · Scottish Borders Rising, 6.30pm, Springwood Park Exhibition Hall, Kelso · Nia, 9.15am, Community Centre, Kings Langley · Lampeter Rising, 1pm, Victoria Hall, Lampeter · Lewes Rising, 5pm, Subud Centre, Lewes · Movema Zumba and World Dance Class, 7pm, The Dome, Liverpool · Rise Together, 5.30pm, The Brink, Liverpool · At Home with the Ludskis hosts ‘Bodies of Silence’, Rio Cinema, London · Coffee Morning, Churchill Gardens Primary School, Pimlico, London · Dance, Dance! Proper British Style, 2pm, London Eye, London · Dancing Against Violence, Women’s Platform UK, London · Dance Walking Our Truth, 7.30pm, Piccadilly Circus, London · Fans of Feminism, 11am, Cass Gallery, London · For How Much?, 8pm, The Place, London · I am. Interrupted., 3pm, Doodle Bar / Testbed 1, London · I Dream of Congo: Narratives from The Great Lakes, 12 noon, Conway Hall, London · Restless Buddha, 6pm, Whitechapel Gallery, London · Rising Flashmob, 11am, location to be confirmed, London · Roda Feminina and Open Roda Capoeira Event, 3pm, The Bedford, London · The Young Vic and The Restless Buddha, 1pm, Young Vic Theatre, London · Dear John…, 7.30pm, 3MT, Manchester · Rising in Manchester, 6.30pm, Z-Arts, Manchester · V Day Zumba @ XAVS, 12 noon, Xaverian SFC, Manchester · Fife Rising Parade, 12 noon, Kirckaldy Pedestrian Precinct, Markinch · Newcastle Rising, 4.30pm, Monument, Newcastle · Nottingham Rising, Mapperley Park Clinic, Nottingham · Norwich Rising, 1pm, The Forum, Norwich · Oxford Rising, 5pm, Theology Faculty Centre, Oxford · The Vagina as Autonomous Zone, 10pm, CAZ, Penzance · Walk, 12 noon, Penzance · Rising Flash Mob, 12 noon, City Centre, Peterborough · Dancing In The Street, 11am, Guildhall Square, Portsmouth · Dance for Sexual Abuse and Rape Survivors!, 2.30pm, Reading · Bute Rising, Guildford Square, Rothesay · Day of Dance Against Violence Against Women and Girls, 10am, Quaker Meeting House, Scarborough · A Memory, A Monologue, A Rant And A Prayer, 7.45pm, Pennine Theatre, Sheffield · Flash Dance, Barker’s Pool, Sheffield · University of Sheffield Rising, 12 noon, Students’ Union, Sheffield · Devon Rising, 9.30am, Village Hall, South Brent · Stratford Upon Avon Rise, 1.30pm, Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford Upon Avon · Stroud Rising, 12noon, Stroud · Flashmob, 12.30pm, Castle Square, Swansea · The Valley Girls Rise, 7.30pm, Pontardawe Art Centre, Swansea · Swindon Rising, 1pm, Big Screen, Whalf Green, Swindon · Totnes Rising, 12.30pm, Civic Square, Totnes · Flashmob, 1pm, St Catherines Walk, Wales · Dancing, 12 noon, Vale Park Bandstand, Wallasey · Watford Rising, 2pm, Town Hall, Watford · Woking Rising, 12 noon, Town Centre, Woking · York Rising, 3pm, University of York, York ·

Join V-Day’s 15th Anniversary: Dance, Rise and Demand an End to Violence Against Women

V-Day Founder Eve Ensler to be special guest at London Rising event on Monday 4TH February

“When we come together on February 14, 2013 to demand an end to violence against women and girls, and it will be a truly global voice that will rise up for this year’s One Billion Rising campaign. Activists throughout the United Kingdom are rising. One Billion Rising coordinators Monique Wilson and Rossana Abueva are rallying women and men in every sector of society and curator and producer of the One Billion Rising UK Arts Festival Nadja Romain has gathered an array of stunning and brilliant visual artists. It’s also of real excitement that MP Stella Creasy is channeling the political arena for real change.” – Eve Ensler, V-Day founder and Playwright

Women and men across the UK will join activists and communities around the globe for ONE BILLION RISING on 14th February 2013, the 15th anniversary and largest day of action in the history of V-Day, the global activist movement to end violence against women and girls.

V-Day, founded by Eve Ensler, Tony Award winning author of “The Vagina Monologues,” launched ONE BILLION RISING in early 2012. The campaign is a global grassroots movement that, from Lima, to Paris, New Delhi to Kinshasa, Manila, to Bahrain is clamouring, loud and clear, for the end of violence towards women and girls. On February 14th, 2013, One Billion women, and those who love them, will rise up on the planet, joining activists, celebrities, writers, thinkers, and artists, to strike, dance, shake the world and shift the energy to empower women and girls and break the cycle of violence.

ONE BILLION RISING UK Coordinator Monique Wilson stated, “We are thrilled to announce over 80 One Billion Rising UK events (and growing!) OBR workshops have given voice to the needs of women and girls in communities around the UK; artistic events in the visual arts, film, poetry, theatre and dance are using the arts as a platform for change and transformation; big dance concerts are bringing together artists and musicians and dancers and annual performances of “The Vagina Monologues” and countless flash mobs are happening in universities, schools, theatres, high streets, town halls and squares all across the country. The UK has always been known for the diversity of the cultures and it is this which makes the UK a fantastic representative for the global campaign. The United Kingdom – from London, Brighton, Sheffield, Lancaster, Liverpool, Cardiff, The Scottish Borders, Bute, Norwich and many others – are coming together on February 14th and RISING to demand an end to violence against women and girls.”

London highlights include:
ONE BILLION RISING UK Art Festival – With art being one of the most powerful forms of communication and vehicles of protest, the inaugural festival, spearheaded by curator and producer and founder of Everything I Want ltd, Nadja Romain will invite artists, poets, playwrights, dancers, performers, art lovers and the public to come together in unity against violence. An impressive programme of exhibitions, performances, talks and screenings will take place across the UK beginning January 22nd through February 14th in various venues, museums and galleries, challenging us to new ways of thinking and motivating us to change. Artists involved include Judy Chicago, Rose Gibbs, Hannah McClure, Mimmo Miccolis and many more. For information on all festival events please visit http://www.obrartfest.co.uk/

LONDON RISING – Eve Ensler will be arriving in London on Monday 4th February to join the UK’s risings against violence and will be hosting LONDON RISING, a one night fundraising theatrical dance party with music, dance, songs and film that celebrates women at Café de Paris. Produced by New Voice Company and ONE BILLION RISING Campaign Directors Monique Wilson and Rossana Abueva the evening will feature Eve Ensler performing her newest piece “Rising,” written in Kerala for the women in India who lead the way. V-Day board member and acclaimed film actress Thandie Newton will perform a special piece called “Over It,” written by Ensler to launch the ONE BILLION RISING Campaign.

The show will also feature Grammy nominated and internationally acclaimed Sitar player and composer Anoushka Shankar, Zambian Scottish songstress Namvula Rennie, cabaret vocalist Karin Bello and singer Enno-Williams Uffort and the Milestones Motown band. Tickets from £25 can be purchased http://onebillionrising.org/page/event/detail/startarising/w5g

Many events are taking place across the UK as part of the campaign. Find your local event on V-Day’s global campaign website www.onebillionrising.org

Have Your Say: Consultation on a new Domestic and Sexual Violence Board

Following the publication of the interim report, Labour’s Women’s Safety Commission remains concerned that there is too much complacency when it comes to tackling violence against women and girls. Too many people and agencies assume that everything possible is being done to tackle this problem, yet every week, women are failed by a system that is supposed to protect them and few national minimum standards are in place. Learning from the experience of the Children’s Trusts and the Youth Justice Board – which have delivered both national and local leadership to bring partner organisations together to tackle a challenging issue – Labour’s Women’s Safety Commission is interested in exploring the idea of a new Domestic and Sexual Violence Board, and how such a new Board could begin to prevent domestic and sexual violence offending, and to improve the support offered to survivors. Written submissions on the formation of a new Domestic and Sexual Violence Board are being sought between 25th November 2012 and 4thFebruary 2013. Submissions can be sent to: personalsafetycommission@labour.org.uk

Download the consultation document here

Let us know what you think by commenting below and send your submissions to the address above

Darkness Falls: Keep women safe on the streets

Darker Streets Threaten Women’s Safety

In a worrying development for women’s perceptions of safety, a survey conducted by the Labour Party in November 2011 revealed that over half of local authorities who responded were in the process of reducing their street lighting. This problem will be at its worst over the next months of Winter due to the long hours of darkness and many women’s testimonies explained how this impacts their freedom to move around their areas safely:

“Due to cutbacks by the Government, some councils have turned street lights off. This is a real danger for women who work at night. I’m an Avon lady so I’m concerned about my colleagues, many of whom deliver at night”- Sharon (evidence submitted via the Everywoman Safe Everywhere website)

Cuts to street lighting – imposed by Suffolk Country Council – are happening here in Ipswich. Female friends who live in these areas tell me [and I can confirm from having looked at a few] that it is quite scary. If you don’t have a car, can’t afford taxis and are used to walking around your own town in safety, it does make quite a difference having this “curfew” imposed.” – Netta, evidence submitted via Everywoman Safe Everywhere website.

“It feels like a curfew has been imposed….If I am visiting friends for the evening… I find myself leaving early to get home before the lights go out.” – Evidence submitted via Everywoman Safe Everywhere website

Take Action: Write to your local council to ask them not to cut street lighting in your area. You can find a template letter here.

 If you get a response, please let us know at admin@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk.

Thank you for sending this message – if you want to help promote this campaign please enter your details here and we will put you in touch with others interested in working together:

This campaign came from a workshop in London in July.

Quick facts:

What Is V-Day?

Building One Billion Rising in Britain: Workshop Tuesday 17 July 2012

One Billion Rising is an international coalition of campaigners speaking out for action to tackle violence against girls and women across the world. It is taking place on 14 February 2013 to celebrate the 15th Anniversary of V-day, the global movement to end violence against women and girls. Across the world the OBR campaign will highlight the challenges in every country – from calling for better reproductive rights for women in the Philippines and challenging Republican lawmakers who wish to stop female politicians using the term vagina in Michigan to supporting women organising street marches in Afghanistan, taking on street harassment in Egypt and Croatian campaigners against sexual violence in warfare. Already over 1,800 colleges have committed to holding V-day fundraising benefits to support projects working with women and girls affected by violence.

To help shape the UK response and feed into the work of One Billion Rising in Britain, we will be holding a workshop in the Angel area of London on Tuesday 17 July 2012 to discuss the themes of the campaign and seek the views and feedback on their content, focus and possible partners. This event is free to attend but places are limited– to register for a place please contact the organiser Stella Creasy on stella@workingforwalthamstow.org.uk . If you cannot attend but would like to know more about the campaign you can sign for updates using this form: 

What are the themes behind OBRUK? 

Built around five themes, OBR in the UK will seek action at both a local and national level. Safe at Home will look at how to tackle domestic violence and child-parent abuse, looking at the way services respond to victims and offenders. Safe through Financial Freedom will consider the impact of economic changes on the ability of women to make choices about their own safety, exploring how changes to benefits and the jobs market will affect their personal independence. Safe Growing Up will explore the harassment of young women and girls, the growing evidence of abuse on and offline and the role of gender stereotypes. Safe in The Community will look at street safety and public spaces for women – from safety in nightclubs and the impact of cuts to street lighting to the way in which transport hubs operate. Finally, Safe in the World will look at how UK activists can support action on violence against women and girls internationally including measures to addressing trafficking and promoting the work of other OBR campaigners in other countries.

In each theme the campaigners intend to provide  training, material and resources to help participants identify, champion and secure changes which will help end violence against women and girls in the UK and internationally. This campaign will work with a range of organisations in British society, to build a movement of people who share a concern to to achieve these aims and to ensure these issues are a priority for all.

In the UK members of the Labour movement are helping to lead this campaign with OBR because we believe that in times of economic difficulty it is even more important to work towards a more socially just, safe and prosperous society for all as part of rebuilding Britain. This builds on our Everywoman Safe, Everywhere report. We welcome the involvement of all those who share our concern to make tackling violence against women and girls in the UK and internationally a priority, seeking practical and effective changes to ensure they live in a country and a society that supports them to fulfil their potential through being able to lead lives without fear.