The Young Communist League has issued a statement to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
25 November is marked around the world as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. In Britain and globally, epidemic levels of violence against women and girls remain a stain on our society which capitalism is incapable or unwilling to eradicate.
The statistics on gendered violence in Britain today speak for themselves:
- One in three women experience domestic abuse in their lifetimes.
- Over 1.6 million women experience domestic abuse every year.
- In England and Wales alone, 2 women are killed every week by a partner or former partner.
- Women are more than 9 times as likely to be killed by a partner or former partner.
- Every week 3 women commit suicide because of domestic violence.
- The police receive a domestic violence-related call every 30 seconds even though less than 24% of domestic violence crime is reported to the police.
- The overwhelming majority of domestic abuse cases are not prosecuted and very few end in conviction.
- Half of all young women experience controlling behaviour in an intimate relationship.
- 41% of girls aged 14 – 17 experience sexual violence from a partner.
- Almost two-thirds of women and girls aged 13 – 21 suffer some form of sexual harassment at school or college.
Young people in Britain would expect the government to take serious and concerted action to tackle this epidemic, but the opposite has been the case. The government have rolled back protections for women and girls across the board.
There have been massive funding cuts by central and local government to services for specialist violence and abuse services and to organisations which support women fleeing domestic abuse. Since 2010, this country has lost around a quarter of its specialist domestic violence refuges.
We need to reverse decades of government neglect and cuts and build comprehensive and secure services for women and girls reporting or fleeing violence.
Among young people, sex and personal education in our schools is completely inadequate and is contributing to the problem. Increasing numbers of children and young people are exposed to graphic hardcore pornography before learning about consent and what a healthy relationship is.
Communists recognise that violence against women and girls is not an inevitable or naturally occurring reality. The oppression of women is both a function and product of capitalism. Violence against women is directly linked to our marginalised role in society, our exploitation and oppressive ideologies which serve to maintain class rule by dividing working people.
Britain’s young communists are calling for:
- A new sex and personal education syllabus aimed at combatting sexual violence and abuse.
- Real education about sexism and violence against women at schools, colleges and universities.
- Increased and ring-fenced funding and support for victims of gender-based crimes and violence.
- New mechanisms to detect, investigate and prosecute domestic violence and harassment and violence against women generally.
- Youth-led organisation in schools, colleges and universities to crack down on sexual violence and harassment and bullying.
No to violence against women.
For equality and dignity for women and girls.
Young Communist League
25 November 2020