8 Feb 2023
This week (February 6th-12th, 2023) is Sexual Abuse and Sexual Violence Awareness Week, a national event to raise awareness of the realities and prevalence of sexual abuse and violence.
It is also an opportunity to stand in solidarity with, and demand justice for, those who have experienced sexual violence by saying #ItsNotOk.
‘Sexual violence’ is a term used to describe any sexual activity that occurs without consent. This includes rape, sexual assault, sexual abuse and sexual harassment.
#ItsNotOk that rape offences in the UK have increased dramatically while prosecutions have fallen.
#ItsNotOk that women feel unsafe in their own homes and in public spaces. Where can we be safe?
#ItsNotOk that the ongoing cost-of-living crisis is making it even harder for women to leave abusive relationships.
#ItsNotOk that women don’t disclose for fear of having their children removed.
Later this month, Agenda Alliance will be publishing new analysis on the connection between women’s experiences of abuse from a partner and suicide attempts, suicidal thoughts and self-harm. These links have so far been both underexamined and underreported. In light of this, we are calling for professionals working across healthcare, justice, education and welfare sectors to be trained to better understand and respond to women at risk of abuse from their partner and suicidal behaviour in a way that is gender-, age-, trauma-, and culturally- responsive.
The report, ‘Underexamined and Underreported’, launches on February 22nd, 2023.