Personally, I am so tired of hearing and reading about the murders of more women and children in this country (and anywhere actually), at the hands of men who could have received help before things ‘got out of hand’.
As Vera Baird states in Alexandra Topping’s article in the Guardian this morning, “‘low level’ offending against women and girls can mark out a predatory attitude… which can speedily escalate if not tackled”.
Misogyny or the hatred of women, idealised power and control and toxic attitudes towards women are undeniably at the root cause of this unprecedented pandemic of violence against women that we are all witnessing.
When will it end?
It will only end when society wakes up and realises that male violence will end when men stop using violence to satisfy themselves. The murder of Sarah Everard taught us women what we already know. If someone is intent on murdering us, they will find a way to do so. Depressing as it is, and some have been lucky, but even if we tell friends where we are going and when we will be back, this will not stop men from being violent.
We need to listen to women. We need support for parents raising children, pro-active interventions for boys that challenge toxic masculinity, we need to champion all positive role models in sports, education, business, ecology, science, spirituality, we need in depth long term treatment plans for perpetrators of violence, we need prison rehabilitation programmes for men who have used violence- with proven outcomes. We need to look at how women are ‘used’ and portrayed in society and adjust the sway, we need to educate girls to notice negative influences, behaviours that can be subtle and attitudes towards them and empower girls to believe in and support each other.
It is only when our governments, (who are still, largely men), recognise what’s happening, acknowledge what the root causes of violence are and begin to value women and our experiences by listening to us and learning from us, that lessons will be learnt and changes will be made that will benefit men and women.
Positive change will happen when Governments invest fully in Psychological therapies, mandatory programmes that teach men about how to manage their behaviour and alternatives from using violence that boys and men will be more content in their lives, society will feel more equal, and women will eventually begin to feel safer.
Pledging funding to organisations supporting victim/survivors is great and much needed but if we really want to end this pandemic, we need to prevent boys from growing into violent men in the first place.
If you have been affected by any of the issues I have raised here, please feel welcome to get in touch by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
I work with victim/survivors of male violence and I also work with men who are violent.
P.S- I know not all men use violence, I know women can use violence too and I know that not all boys will grow into violent men. I am talking about the ones that will.