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“Violence against women is male violence” – Nazir Afzal on White Ribbon Day

Too often violence against women is framed as an issue of women’s safety rather than what it actually is: male violence. The conversation becomes about street lighting and alarms when the least safe place for a woman is in her own home.

The discourse after the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer has predominately been about misogyny in our institutions rather than about misogyny in wider society. That is why it’s men who have to own this conversation, it’s men who have to address the root causes of violent behaviour and it’s men who have to challenge it. The White Ribbon campaign is one part of that.

As an ambassador you not only demonstrate your willingness to champion the extraordinary work being carried out by mostly female-led organisations, but you signal that you yourself will lead by example, calling out sexism and misogyny when you see or hear it and work to change others.

This is an issue of human rights, equity and fairness. It’s humanity in action.

Women cannot suffer a day longer. Too much blood has been spilt. Whilst men are the cause of more than 90% of violence against women, we are also responsible for more than 90% of violence against men and children. It’s not good enough to say it’s only “some men” because the silence of other men will provide the environment for the violent to prosper.

We take responsibility because it is the right thing to do.

Nazir Afzal

National Adviser on Violence Against Women and Domestic Abuse

Darllenwch y dudalen hon yn y Gymraeg.

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