Ending Violence Against Women & Girls in the North East

 

The Angelou Centre currently hosts the North East Women’s Network and in partnership with NEWN have developed an independent regional network for the specific purpose of lobbying and campaigning to end Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) in the North East of England, including specific resources to co-ordinate the existing Black Women’s Domestic Violence Network.

This project emerged as a result of long-term development and research conducted by NEWomen’s Network since 2008. NEWN is a network of women’s voluntary organisations (VCOs) established in 2006 to strengthen the women’s sector in the North East of England and ensure its survival by encouraging and supporting collaboration between women’s VCOs and building partnerships and alliances across other sectors. This in the words of a participant in consultations:

‘…brought the VAWG agencies together to focus on a common goal with an agreed set of outcomes. It raised the profile of the work with all the candidates and gave us an opportunity to state our case at a point where the candidates were eager to listen and understand.

Why we need a specific project to address Violence Against Women and Girls
In the same year, NEWN produced a North East case study evidencing how the UK Government’s austerity measures were impacting upon already unacceptable levels of gender inequality in the North East of England. In July 2013, this research was presented by NEWN to the United Nations (UN) Convention for the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) in Geneva. The UN Delegation was highly effective in ensuring that the concluding observations from CEDAW reflected the concerns of North East women. The concluding observations on the seventh periodic report calls upon Government and all public bodies to “increase efforts to protect women, including black and minority women, against all forms of violence, including domestic violence and so called honour killings.” The 2013 CEDAW recommendation provide a framework for holding to account public bodies responsible for tackling VAWG in the NE of England ((CEDAW/C/GBR/CO/7).

The enormous cost of VAWG to the state and society in terms of reduced human capital, decreased productivity, exacerbated social inequalities, lowered overall educational outcomes, and broad strains on public services is well established. Violence diminishes women and girls’ ability to gain an education, earn a living and participate in public life, and live a life free of fear. VAWG has inter-generational impacts and has significant health impacts, including psychological consequences, physical injuries, sexual/reproductive health issues and death. According to a North East study (2010), at some point in their life:

  • Over 160,000 women in the NE have experienced domestic abuse
  • Nearly 150,000 women in the NE have suffered a sexual assault
  • Over 30,000 women in the NE have been raped or experienced attempted rape

For further information please contact: Jacqui@angelou-centre.org.uk or telephone 0191 226 0394

The Regional Black Women’s Domestic Violence Network (RBWDVN)
In additional to hosting the North East Women’s Network in 2006, the Angelou Centre also took over the co-ordination of the Regional Black Women’s Domestic Violence Network following the closure of DIVA: Newcastle Interagency Forum (see terms of reference attached). Since then, a Regional Consultation Event (2007) and a two-day international conference, ‘Reclaiming the Domestic Violence Agenda: promoting impactful and effective policy and practice for BAMER women survivors’ (2010) have been the only funded activities of the Network, which has lacked capacity and resources. This project therefore includes the co-ordination of the RBWDVN to ensure that BME women’s issues and their voices inform the wider North East [End Violence] Against Women and Girls Network.

For further information please contact: farah@angelou-centre.org.uk or telephone 0191 226 0394