For too long women, transgender, gender non-binary people and children have faced the threat of male violence and have been subjected to this violence to a sickeningly disproportionate degree. The horrifying kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard and the appalling murder of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry are the most recent examples of this plague endured for decades, centuries, millennia. As a union, we recognise that both the threat of and actual violence directed towards women, transgender, non-binary people and children from men can be exacerbated by intersectionalities that aggravate power imbalances towards the LGBT+, Black, ethnic minority and migrant communities. This was particularly evident in the lack of media coverage directed towards Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry’s murders in June 2020 and the police misconduct that ensued in the disturbing allegations that two serving Met Police officers took ‘selfies’ with their bodies.
We stand together in solidarity with Sarah Everard’s, Nicole Smallman’s and Bibaa Henry’s families and all affected by male violence. We make a stand for all women, transgender, non-binary people and children living in fear from male violence. We make a stand to demand equality for all.
In the UK, 97% of young women have experienced sexual harassment. This statistic is shocking, yet one that we tend to accept. The reporting of incidents of sexual harassment is consistently low – over 95% of women, girls and non-binary people did not report their experiences of sexual harassment in 2021. One in four LGBT+ people have experienced domestic violence and, despite suffering the same trauma as non-LGBT+ people, tend to be less likely to report these incidents due to the concerns around homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to be endured in speaking up. We make a stand in the face of these staggering figures to demand a change in the culture of acceptance of gendered male violence.
We take a stand against male violence in all its forms in all spaces – at work, home, online and in public. To turn the tide and promote equality we must confront this insidious discrimination which pervades our institutions and everyday life and allows its agents to defy justice.
In particular, we call on the Government to hold accountable the Metropolitan Police in their response to the Sarah Everard vigil this weekend in which protesters were subject to unjust force, restraint and state violence. Government must take a stand in driving out male violence and empower women, children and gender minorities by instilling confidence that they will seek to hold those who perform acts of gendered violence to account.
We stand in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill, whose passing would exacerbate the inequalities that Government should be seeking to dismantle in the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder. We call on Government to abandon the disproportionate control measures as outlined in the Bill, which would curtail freedom of expression and the fundamental right to protest.
We call on our members and the public to take a stand in opposition to women’s, children’s, transgender and gender non-binary peoples’ subjugation:
- Donate to gender-based anti-violence charities, such as Refuge, Women’s Aid, Galop and SARSVL.
- Sign the UCU NEC and members’ statement to end gender-based violence & defend the right to protest.
- Protect your freedom to protest by signing this petition in opposition to the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
- Email your MP in defiance of the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill.
- Join the White Ribbon campaign for men and boys who want to work against sexual violence.
- Follow advice on how to support women and be an ally in the face of oppression.
If you have been affected by male violence and the latest events surrounding Sarah Everard’s murder, we would encourage you to seek support:
- SARSVL: https://supportafterrapeleeds.org.uk/
- Galop: http://www.galop.org.uk/how-we-can-help/
- UCU sexual harassment helpline: https://www.ucu.org.uk/article/9316/Sexual-Harassment-Support-Helpline