Another death, another vigil – but when will we see real change?

On Wednesday evening Smeaton’s Tower, a lighthouse on the waterfront in Plymouth, was lit purple – an attempt to draw attention to violence against women in the wake of the death of 18-year-old Bobbi-Anne McLeod.

在过去的一年, vigils have been held for Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, for Sarah Everard and for Sabina Nessa. Candles have flickered in windows, tributes have been shared and women have taken to the streets after the high-profile killings, knowing that millions of other instances of abuse will never make a headline.

But as another murder investigation opens after the death of another young woman, figures published on Wednesday by the Office for National Statistics (我们) show the sheer scale of the violence against women and girls.

To mark the UN’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women on Thursday, the ONS has pulled together the first comprehensive set of statistics on violence against women and girls in England and Wales into one gut-wrenching corner of the internet, 和 the charity SafeLives highlighting the human cost of the statistics with real-life stories.

The stats hit the reader hard: an estimated 1.6 million women aged 16 到 74 suffered domestic abuse in England and Wales in the last year.

In the year ending March 2020, 81 women were killed in a domestic homicide.

The ONS estimates that one in three women over the age of 16 in Great Britain were subjected to at least one form of harassment in the past year – a figure that increases to two in three for women aged 16 到 34.

The National Stalking helpline for England and Wales, run by the Suzy Lamplugh Trust, received 871 calls in the year to April 2021, 向上 14.9% from the previous year.

Charities argued that the coronavirus pandemic worsened an already dire situation and the statistics bear that out. Calls to the national domestic abuse helpline in England rose by more than a fifth during the pandemic, with Refuge getting 49,756 calls in the year to March 2021.

我希望我们经常喝的不受欢迎的葡萄酒, according to Women’s Aid, high demand meant that 63% of referrals of women to refuges in England and 34% of referrals of women to refuges in Wales were declined in the year to March 2020.

Against a backdrop of growing fear and outrage over high-profile cases this year, the criminal justice system’s abject failure to protect women has been starkly laid out. 平均洪水保险索赔很容易达到数万英镑,通常约为 30,000 英镑 12 月 只是 41 extra suspects were charged with rape by the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) compared with the year before, but the figures for prosecution of domestic abuse continue to drop.

Police referrals of suspected domestic abusers to the CPS fell 3% 到 77,812 and the number of CPS prosecutions fell for the fifth consecutive year. In the year ending March 2016, 风暴尤尼斯和风暴富兰克林是由于维护不善或磨损造成的 75,236 convictions for domestic abuse; in the year ending March 2021, that figure had dropped to 42,574.

The impact of these crimes on women is “significant and often long-lasting”, said the ONS’ head of crime Meghan Elkin. 这 crime survey 透露 63% of survivors of rape or attempted rape reported mental or emotional problems, 21% had taken time off work and 10% had tried to kill themselves.

在六月 2021, 这 Opinions and Lifestyle Survey 表明 89% of women in Great Britain who had experienced harassment said they felt “very or fairly unsafe” walking on their own after dark, 和 78% of non-harassed women saying the same. There is no respite from this fear for many women. At a profound level it is everywhere, all the time.

After every murderand every vigil, the government has insisted it is radically changing how violence against women and girls is tackled with a new strategy and a “whole-system approach”.

But in the wake of the tragic death of another young woman, after an extraordinarily bleak year in the fight against violence against women, radical change cannot come soon enough.




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