Gender-Based Violence Strategy Consultation

Closes 1 Aug 2021

Opened 22 Jun 2021

Overview

We want Greater Manchester to be one of the best places in the world for people to grow, up, get on and grow old – and we are on a journey to achieve that.  The prevalence of gender-based violence represents a major barrier to achieving our ambition.

Through the Gender-Based Violence Strategy, we aim to lead a comprehensive, responsive programme of service delivery that enhances the safety of women and girls, while preventing gender-based violence and challenging the attitudes and inequalities that enable it.

Graphic with quote from Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham: I want the streets, workplaces, schools, universities and homes of this city-region to be safe for every woman and girl.   That’s why we’ve developed a comprehensive, multi-layered approach to our Gender-Based Violence Strategy, listening to experts and victims of gender-based violence.  We’re asking the public here in Greater Manchester to join our conversation and help shape our ambitious Strategy so together we can end gender-based violence.

Greater Manchester is home to over 1.4 million women and girls and we continue to lead the way in striving for gender equality. However, there are a number of issues that disproportionately affect women and girls. Gender-based violence is one of the most pervasive violations of human rights in the world, with far reaching consequences for communities and society, as well as individuals and their families.

Abuse is deep rooted in gender inequality and subconscious bias, which has developed over generations, and occurs irrespective of class, ethnicity, faith, sexuality or where you live. Recent campaigns such as #MeToo and #TimesUp have given the issue more exposure. Very recently, the outpouring of emotion and testimonies following the tragic abduction and murder of Sarah Everard demonstrates all too clearly there remains much that we must do to tackle gender-based violence head on.

That’s why we have been developing a strategy for some time, which contains a series of commitments to end gender-based violence, and we want to know what you think about them.

When the Mayor launched our draft strategy in March he urged people to provide us with initial feedback. At that time our draft was titled ‘Gender Based Abuse.’ In using that term we wanted to emphasise that this includes the harms that do not involve the use of physical violence. However, based on initial public feedback received we have decided to now use the term ‘Gender-Based Violence.’ This term is used and recognised nationally and internationally, and is underpinned by a United Nations convention. We also believe the definition of gender-based violence underpins everything that we seek to tackle in our strategy.
The 1993 United Nations ‘Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women,’ defined violence against women and girls 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.’ The 2011 Council of Europe Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence – often referred to as the 'Istanbul Convention’ – expanded the definition, requiring the countries that have signed up to it to recognise the ‘structural nature of violence against women as gender-based violence, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men.’
In Greater Manchester we are adopting the term gender-based violence to convey our commitment to tackling the many forms of abuse, harm and violation that are directed, at least in part, by sexist expectations and which reinforce the sexual inequalities that most disadvantage women and girls. We use the term ‘gender-based violence’ to convey how the power inequalities associated with gender, in its many articulations, are exploited by perpetrators to reinforce gendered norms through the infliction of harm and the threat of it.
This exposes women and girls generally, but not exclusively, to gender-based violence and abuse, including domestic homicides. Consistent with the UN Convention, our strategy recognises that ‘women and girls are exposed to a higher risk of gender- based violence’ than men – that ‘domestic violence affects women disproportionately’, but that men may also be victims of domestic violence’ – and that ‘children’ – i.e. boys and girls - ‘are victims of domestic violence, including as witnesses of violence in the family’.
The term ‘gender-based violence’ is thus used to recognise:
  • the pervasiveness of violence against women and girls
  • that men and boys can also be victims too
  • that men and boys are usually the primary perpetrators of this abuse at home and in public places
For the purposes of this consultation, the following crimes and behaviours are considered as gender-based violence:
  • Domestic homicides
  • Domestic abuse and coercive control
  • Rape and sexual assaults
  • Stalking – on and offline
  • Harassment – including in public and work place settings
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Romance frauds
  • Traditional harmful practices (such as so-called honour-based crimes, female genital mutilation and forced marriage)
  • Misogyny
  • Trafficking and modern slavery

Why we are consulting

In order to get this far in developing the Greater Manchester strategy to end gender- based violence, we have worked extensively with a range of people who support those affected by abuse, including the police, offender services, health services, education, safeguarding experts, and community and voluntary sector organisations. Most importantly, we have talked to many women who have personal experience of abuse.

In March 2021, we published the draft strategy online and invited people to share their views on it – in essence to get a sense check. We received 62 responses and in addition to altering the title and definition we have made several other amendments.

We’ve expanded the commitments within the Supporting Victims and Survivors chapters to include:
  • Work with organisations that are experts in working with minoritised populations to improve assessment procedures so that social, emotional and economic needs are considered, as well as anticipate the risk of hate crimes
  • Collect gender-based violence data and local demand for services to meet the needs all communities and demographic groups
  • Introduce a cross-border protocol to establish co-operation across local authorities around housing, care and support for victims and survivors of domestic abuse
  • The development of a Greater Manchester Advocacy Standards Framework will be compliant with the Violence Against Women and Girls Sector Shared Core Standards developed by Women’s Aid, Respect, Safe Lives, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales.
We also added that we will invite teachers to training events and work with schools to ensure best practice is shared and celebrated.

Now we want to find out what you think about the Greater Manchester Gender-Based Violence Strategy. Greater Manchester is a place where all voices are heard and where, working together, we can shape our future. Therefore, we would like to understand your views on how we can – together – deliver a strategy that will significantly reduce the risks and harms caused as a result of gender-based violence.

Our strategy will be delivered over a ten year period.  We won’t be able to deliver all of our commitments at once and that is why we also want your views on what we should prioritise.

This survey will take approximately 10 minutes to complete. It is an anonymous survey and we ask that you do not include any personal information that could identify you or others.   

If you are a victim or survivor and feel you need advice and support then please contact Greater Manchester Victims’ Services on 0161 200 1950 or visit www.gmvictims.org.uk.

Audiences

  • Anyone from any background

Interests

  • Combined Authority
  • Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester
  • Equalities
  • Violent crime
  • Victims and witnesses of crime