Violence against women: Help us change the story

All welcome as Tribune hosts special summit in Angel

Friday, 22nd April — By Anna Lamche

Sarah Michael

Sarah Michael

THE Islington Tribune has pledged not to be a newspaper that only talks about violence against women and girls in the aftermath of a fatal tragedy.

Not when so many women are warning that their safety is a daily problem.

Last month, the nation’s press could be found buzzing around the City University halls after the death of 19-year-old Sabita Thanwani – but then moved onto the next town and the next story.

That is why we have organised a special summit on VAWG – violence against women and girls – and we want anybody who thinks they have good ideas on how to tackle it to come along.

We’d like to thank Angel Central for giving us space where the event will take place on Tuesday evening, and a series of speakers who will be assessing the scale of the problem and what needs to be done now.

While the details of Ms Thanwani’s death must be kept for the courtroom where a man will go on trial for murder, there was a sickening déjà vu when the news spread out from the campus that a young woman had died and that police were investigating.

Our front page asked: ‘So, what do we do now?”

Patsy Stevenson

It is the need to answer that question which has led to our summit.

We will be encouraging each panellist to identify three “actionable” points that could be imple­mented to tackle VAWG, measures that will make a difference straight away and in the long term.

Our focus will be on measurable goals; so we will check back in a year to see how much has been achieved.

The Tribune’s pledge to not let go of this issue followed the death of Sarah Everard in south London last year – and we promised to tackle not just physical violence but also general misogyny and the hurdles that women – unbelievably, in 2022 – still face in public spaces, their work and beyond.

Ch Supt Andy Carter

This summit, we hope, is a step to making good on that pledge.

We have asked Councllor Kaya Comer-Schwartz, leader of Islington Council and Andy Carter, the most senior police officer in the borough, to be there to explain what they are doing.

The panel will then stretch out with a diverse spread of speakers.

They will be joined by Patsy Stevenson, the women’s rights activist arrested by a group of officers at Ms Everard’s vigil.

Sarah Michael, a survivor of domestic abuse, and Alison Bird, the clinical lead for stalking at Solace Women’s Aid, will also speak.

Kaya Comer-Schwartz

As we will hear, VAWG cuts across lines of class and race. It is a widely recognised fact that those who are marginalised, be they women of colour, LGBTQIA+ women or disabled women, disproportionately face the heightened threat of violence both on the streets and at home.

For that reason, we cannot adopt a “one size fits all” approach to the systemic violence faced by women and girls.

This summit aims to encourage debate across different disciplines and identify the practical steps that can be taken to tackle VAWG in Islington and beyond.

We have come so far, and yet there is still a long way to go.

The Tribune hopes this summit will keep up the momentum and helps direct Islington as to what the next steps on the long journey to confronting violence against women and girls can be.

Please do join us.

• JOIN us at 7pm on Tuesday April 26 on the first floor of Angel Central in Parkfield Street, N1. Tickets are free and guarantee entrance.
They can be ordered on Eventbrite: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/violence-against-women-and-girls-islington-summit-tickets-323333879337

Related Articles