The government has recently launched “Enough”, a new campaign empowering individuals to challenge people who commit a range of abusive actions against women and girls, and to raise awareness of what can be done if you experience, or witness, this abuse.
Forms of abuse can include domestic abuse (such as controlling or coercive behaviour), street harassment, unwanted touching, workplace harassment, so-called ‘revenge-porn’, cyberflashing, forced marriage, and stalking. These types of abuse can affect anyone and many of us will have witnessed it, whether it’s abuse by a partner, ex-partner, family member, colleague, friend, or stranger.
National statistics show that these issues disproportionately affect women and girls and that they continue to be all too common, with 1 in 5 women being victims of sexual assault or attempted sexual assault in their lifetime, over 27% of women having experienced domestic abuse since the age of 16, and 20% of women aged 16-74 having experienced stalking.
The Enough campaign, which forms part of the government’s Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy, highlights a range of actions that can be taken if you witness abuse – including calling it out, showing support, or reporting it.
As part of the campaign a new website has been launched to provide further guidance around safe intervention and reporting of abuse, support for victims of abuse, and advice for people who recognise their behaviour needs to change. For more information, please visit www.gov.uk/enough.
Home Secretary Priti Patel said: “For too long, the responsibility of keeping safe has been placed on the shoulders of women and girls. This campaign says enough, and recognises it is on all of us to demand major societal change. Everyone has a stake in this.
“Our new campaign shows that everyone can play a role in challenging abuse and making our country a safer place. By accepting all of the recommendations in the HMICFRS report I commissioned last year, the government and the police are doubling down to support victims and survivors and punish perpetrators.”
Liz Kingsley, CEO of domestic abuse charity Safe Arms, said: “Many of us may not be aware that these acts of violence can be illegal, or the devastating and long-lasting effects it can have on victims, their families and the wider Black community.
“The Enough campaign is incredibly important, as not only does it empower us to recognise when abuse happens, but it equips us with the confidence to safely challenge perpetrators if we witness any of these abusive behaviours. We truly are our sister’s keeper, and we need to work together to break the cycle of abuse and teach future generations the significance of keeping women and girls safe.”
Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive at national domestic abuse charity Women’s Aid, said: “Violence against women and girls is a spectrum, running from the everyday misogyny that is so prevalent, many people don’t even notice it, right through to horrifically violent crimes and murder. Campaigns like this by the Home Office are an important tool to raise awareness of sexist actions and language that have been tolerated for too long and normalise the treatment of women as objects. Women’s “Aid will continue to keep working for the safety of women — until we no longer walk home in fear, whether it is the journey or the destination that holds the greatest danger – but we can’t do it alone. It’s also not enough that women must initiate and highlight the urgency of these conversations. We need ‘allyship’ to help bring about structural change.”