November 2017 Newsletter
A number of subjects were open for discussion in this UKPAC meeting, including the ways regions report to UKPAC, finance, the slavery survey and a master-class on VAWG. For details of the first two items please approach your Regional Programme Action Chairman or your Regional Treasurer. Information about the survey and a summary of Jackie’s presentation are below.
Professor Jackie Jones  is Professor of Feminist Legal Studies at the University of the West of England and has wide experience of working in the UK, Europe and at CSW. She is a member of SI Cardiff & District. Her interests cover human rights (especially women’s), equality, eliminating all forms of violence, NGO work and the UN. Her areas of expertise are EU fundamental rights, NGO workings, human trafficking and VAWG.
What is VAW? “’Violence against women’ has been defined by the United Nations as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. It includes girls.”
Unfortunately, VAWG is increasing and, in order to combat it, we need to understand the legal definitions, what it encompasses, where it happens and ‘does law help’? Areas covered included:
- The age of childhood – this varies by country and legal jurisdiction;
- What does the term VAWG cover? For example:
- Physical violence; in the home and outside, including torture;
- Sexual abuse and prostitution; Jackie submitted a document  to the Home Affairs Committee, as did we ;
- Non-physical abuse; psychological abuse, economic abuse, coercive/controlling behaviour;
- FGM, forced/sham/early child marriage, online abuse, acid attacks and transphobic crimes;
- Forced labour;
- Trafficking and slavery – our survey will be key in trying to address the problem across the UK; interest has been shown in both Europe and the UN;
- Non-state actors (i.e. not governments) as well as state actors;
- It happens everywhere – in institutions, the community and at home; social class is not a protector;
A unified/holistic approach to tackling VAWG would be:
- Shrinking of the state – non-governmental actors, contractors, post-conflict zones etc. function of the state.
- CEDAW not explicit about applicability in times of peace and in armed conflict (only implicit)
- As VAW is informed by all aspects of our lived experience, a holistic approach is needed to address its root causes in political, economic, social and cultural spheres
- Includes civil and criminal sanctions/remedies.
If we wish to effect changes then there needs to be a cultural shift – laws are not the answer. We need to change hearts and minds.
The survey was conducted during the first week of October. There was both a paper and an online version. Some clubs did one of these, some both, and, disappointingly, some did not participate at all. Some regions are still to submit clubs which participated online – the only way for us to know. Overall there were 3771 forms submitted online and 5487 in paper format – a total of 9258. This will give us valid results for the whole UK but maybe not all Office for National Statistics (ONS) regions. This is why it is so important that we have complete reporting on which clubs did (or did not) publicise the online part through their social media (personal or club) and web sites. Thanks to all who sent in their paper returns.
The online results were analysed by Google Analytics and displayed on the UKPAC stand at the SIGBI conference in Cardiff. They will be analysed further over the next few months. Paper and online results have to be merged before a full analysis can be done and a report can be written. The plans are for that full report to be available at our Study Day in Belfast, at the Europa, on 7 July 2018 (more of this later). UKPAC had a presentation on progress so far.
For the main report data will be analysed by ONS region since that will map to the borders of organisations involved in raising awareness of the crime and responding to reports of victims/survivors. Unfortunately, SIGBI regions do not allow this, for example clubs in North Wales are in our Cheshire, North Wales and Wirral Region but in Wales for the ONS. This difference is also apparent for SI Northern England ONS North West and for both SI London regions and ONS London. These discrepancies must be remembered when reading the analysis by ONS region in the final report. However, overall responses are shown below in Figures 1 and 2 (known results up to 28 November 2017).
Some of the headline reports from Google show that:
- 41% of respondents think slavery/trafficking does not occur/is not widespread in their home area;
- Only 49% thought that UK is a source country whereas monitoring by the National Crime Agency for the first half of this year shows that the top countries for victims/survivors are Albania, Vietnam and the UK;
- 74% of respondents would not recognise signs of slavery/trafficking;
- 43% would not know how to report suspicions; the most common answer for this question was the police; 85% did not know of the modern slavery helpline.
Clearly there is much work to be done through the UK Modern Slavery Training Delivery Group for whom the results of our survey will be highly informative. Once the results are analysed by ONS region interventions will, hopefully, be able to be targeted more effectively and efficiently.
Thank you and congratulations for all the hard work of those clubs which took part.
Study Day – The Europa, Belfast 7 July 2018
Our programme is complete. The intention is to feedback to you about progress on:
- the Prison Reform Work and the use to which our Transforming Lives Report has contributed to the agenda;
- the full results of the slavery survey and how the information gleaned will help address the problems of slavery and trafficking across the UK.
This is why the title for the day is ‘Awareness Advocacy and Action for Justice’ – this, of course, through education, enablement and empowerment. Our speakers are:
- Dame Vera Baird QC  – PCC Northumberland and a member of SI Newcastle upon Tyne;
- Dr Tom Guiney  – Senior Programme Officer, Reducing Women’s Imprisonment with the Prison Reform Trust;
- Breakout session to be run by:
- David Merrington on Restorative Justice; he is a volunteer with Victim Support; he both support victims of crime in the community and is a trained and practicing RJ facilitator (Senior Practitioner);
- Sofia Buncy from the Muslim Women in Prison Project ;
- Professor Nancy Loucks from Families Outside ;
- Justice Teresa Doherty CBE, a member of SI Bangor, Northern Ireland
- Full report of our slavery survey;
- Breakout session to be run by:
- KimAnn Williamson – UK Modern Slavery Survey – its use and implications;
- Justine Currell – CEO of ‘Unseen’ who run the Modern Slavery Helpline and DPCC in Bedfordshire. ;
- Allyson Davies – from Barnardos, based in Wales and involved with the UK Government’s trial of advocates for children who are trafficked  taking place in Greater Manchester, Hampshire/Isle of Wight and Wales;
The registration fee will be £75.00 to cover overhead charges and refreshments throughout the day. More details will be available on our web site in January 2018, when registration will be open. Thanks to Joanne Voller at SIGBI as this will be handled by HQ.
I look forward to welcoming you there.
Levy for 2018/2019
I am writing to Regional Treasurers to advise you all that our levy will be increased to £3.50 for the next financial year. We have not increased this for the last four years but due to decreasing membership and increasing costs we have no choice for next year. Youth membership will remain at £1.00. This will enable us to maintain all the links we have built up over the last 3 years and to maintain programme action at the top of all our agendas. A statement of our current financial situation and our budget for 2018/19 will sent to your Regional Treasurers by the end of 2017.
We have been able to recruit a new Treasurer. She is Rhona Bowler of SI Warrington who was Treasurer for the SIGBI conference in Malta last year. She is a Chartered Accountant who is experienced as a treasurer as well as project and business management. We are looking forward to working with her – welcome Rhona.
Please do get in touch with any comments or questions you might have