Our statement on recent events
Last Monday, we started the week with a great sense of optimism and jubilation. It was International Women’s Day, and we were launching our first ever Sheroes Campaign. A chance to celebrate ‘awesome women’. We had over 1000 nominations and we were thrilled to see so many people nominating women for their various achievements. It felt like a week whereby we could share some positive stories and lift up other women.
Sadly, this also became a week that shone a light upon the lived reality of women in our communities. The tragic death of Sarah Everard has led women to share experiences of sexual harassment, sexual assault, and sexual violence. Women have talked openly about the precautions that as women, we have learnt to take, from an early age, to try to protect ourselves from male violence.
As a charity working with over 700 women, at Trevi, we know too well the impact of violence against women.
Over 78% of the women we work with at our Jasmine Mother’s Recovery and half of those at our Sunflower Women’s Centre have been subjected to domestic abuse / are survivors of sexual violence. Whilst there have been many conversations this week about violence on our streets, from strangers, it is a sad truth that for many women, the home is not a safe space either. For example, the 10-year Femicide Census 2020 found that sixty-two per cent of the dead women (888) were killed by a current or former partner, most in their own homes. This reflects what we see in our organisation; many of the women we work with have experienced violence at the hands of their partners and behind closed doors.
Every year, we hold a memorial service for women who have been murdered by a man. In November, we recorded a short film to honour the lives of women murdered and pay our respects. https://youtu.be/tH_eH1pcALA
So, this week at Trevi, we are sad to find ourselves talking about yet another woman’s life lost. We are also angry. Angry that we live in a society that still places responsibility on us, as women to keep ourselves safe, as opposed to holding the perpetrators accountable for their behaviours.
At Trevi we will continue to provide safe spaces for women and their children. We will continue to do all we can to help women who have been victim to violence and abuse.
We will also continue to hold out hope that one day our sisters, mothers and daughters can live in a world where they can live free from fear of harm.
We send love and support to any woman affected by these recent events. We see you and we hear you.
RIP Sarah Everard.