Image inspired by @cutecatcalls
Last week we learned of the tragic death of Sabina Nessa and our thoughts and prayers are with her family. Enough is enough. Sabina deserves outrage, action and justice. We need urgent measures on violence against girls, women, and marginalised genders.
One survey found that 97% of young women have been sexually harassed. Gender-based violence like this needs to be taken seriously because everyone has the right to be safe in public spaces. Of course, not just women - this is also an all too familiar issue for members of the LGBTQ+ community. It’s important that we keep our conversations on gender inclusive.
You may remember that back in March 2021 we gave free soap bars in return for emails sent to your local MP that demanded Public Sexual Harassment (PSH) be made a crime. Since then the government has released their Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy (VAWG) in which they promise to launch a public awareness campaign and look at the PSH laws "at where there may be gaps". These are positive steps, but they still don't go far enough.
We've been inspired by Sabina's teaching legacy and so we're starting a new campaign. For anyone who emails their local secondary school asking them to make PSH part of the curriculum we'll give out a free* soap bar. 🏫
Education is key to breaking the cycle of gendered violence. The introduction of PSH into the school curriculum will allow pupils to identify and combat this everyday violence. The brilliant grassroots organisation Our Streets Now have created lesson plans and other resources to teach PSH in schools. Given PSH is the most widespread form of gender-based violence, it is imperative that classrooms discuss and unpack this topic in order to raise a generation of children who understand and stand against such behaviour.
How to get involved:
- Download our 'email your school' template 💾
- Attach and send the email to your local secondary school📧
- Send us a screenshot of your email to firstname.lastname@example.org 📷
- We’ll send you a code for your free* soap bar 🧼
We'd also like to take the chance to shout out some charities doing amazing work in creating safe spaces for women.
An incredible charity committed to creating a world where domestic violence and violence against women and girls is not tolerated and where women and children can live in safety. A range of services, including both life-saving and life-changing are there to support and empower.
SOLACE WOMEN'S AID 💚
Supporting women and children in London, for more than 40 years, to build safe and strong lives - futures free from male abuse and violence. They do this by offering a range of different service, from advice and support to accommodation all tailored to support those in need.
WOMEN & GIRLS NETWORK 💚
Since establishing in 1987 they have been supporting women and girls across London affected by gendered violence for over 30 years. They aim to create a safe, non-judgmental and non-directive space in which women and girls can explore their experiences, and know that they will be listened to and believed.
We would also like to make the point that a lot of progress has been made to what is covered in the school curriculum in the past 20 years. The extent of sex and relationship education covered in schools is so much more extensive than it was when most UpCirclers were at school. For more specific info in the form of a full bullet pointed list, have a look here.
*Free soap code cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer, subscriptions or build your own bundle. Minimum spend of £5 applies. Offer code is valid for a free soap bar only. One use per customer. Offer expires 23:59pm GMT 31st October 2021.