Male violence against women and girls is both endemic and systemic. It is a constant daily experience for women: from street harassment, poor access to women’s reproductive health services and abortion, domestic violence and rape. From the Democratic Republic of Congo to Colombia to Libya, sexualised violence has been used to punish, terrorise and exact ‘revenge’ on communities in wars which are supported and created by capitalist demands for resources; whether this be conflict diamonds, mineral wealth as seen in the DRC, or simply land. Women’s bodies bear the brunt of male aggression and capitalist greed. Male violence kills, tortures and maims millions of women across the world every day.
This is the reality of male violence against women and girls in the UK:
The cost of domestic violence alone to the UK economy is £23 billion pounds a year with approximately 1 in 8 women experiencing domestic violence every year. Yet, government cuts to women’s services and legal aid are forcing more women and children to live with abusive men as refuges disappear due to lack of funding and support programs for women and children close for the same reason. 10 women a week in the UK commit suicide due to the trauma of domestic and sexual violence. 2 women every week are murdered by male partners. This is the reality within which women and children live.
WHY WE RISE
We rise because our lives are being taken from us. We rise even though we are exhausted from centuries of oppression. We rise to demand freedom and justice. We rise to demand an end to to the harms that are inflicted on us through male violence against us.
Violence against girls, women and our children is a global pandemic which devastates the lives of women, our families, and our communities. Across the world, including on these islands, women and girls continue to be subjected to male violence at every minute, of every hour, of every day. Violence against women and girls is perpetuated in our homes, on our streets, on public transport and at our places of work. We are harmed during times of ‘peace’ and when there are wars (designed, led and carried out by men) we are victimised and turned into ‘collateral damage’. Therefore, our campaign to end violence against women and girls is part of a global struggle for our liberation.
At the march we ask women to wear something red - the colour of our blood, the blood of our sisters who have been murdered and raped at the hands of male violence. Red is the colour of women's power, strength, rebellion and determination as well as passion, fire and love.
‘One Woman, One Body, One Song, One Love’
The march and other MWR activities are led and organised by Black women for all women. We believe that ‘all oppression is connected’.We work together to create safe spaces, free from racism, fascism, discrimination and hate. When we demand an end to men’s violence against us, this includes calling for the dismantling of all oppressive structures that promote and facilitate everything from misogynoir through to ableism.
This is an opportunity for us to come together in sisterhood, solidarity, unity and upliftment...to march together, to feel the strength, exhilaration and power of being with other women, to celebrate ourselves, our differences and our diversity...to raise our voices and, if necessary, to mourn in silence.
A woman’s right to live free from violence and/or the fear of violence has not been achieved. Women continue to be attacked, exploited, and violated in many different ways, in our homes, on our streets, on our public transport, at our places of work. More than ever, we need to gather as a critical mass.
We need to be strong together and in large numbers. Solidarity is strength; the voices of many are louder together than a single voice.
Women be ready... get ready... stay ready for the next critical mass.
We will not be silenced.