Hollaback! Edinburgh has been working on engaging with policy makers, including Members of the Scottish Parliament. To-date we have worked with Edinburgh MSPs, securing a couple of motions in Parliament and support for our survey on young peoples’ experiences of street harassment in Edinburgh.
We were pleased to attend the Scottish Parliament’s Cross-Party Group (CPG) on Men’s Violence Against Women and Children, as a further step in our engagement strategy last week.
Chaired by MSP Christina McKelvie (on a rotational basis with Edinburgh North and Leith MSP Malcolm Chisholm) and attended by workers from across the VAW sector to debate the issues of rape, domestic violence, physical and emotional and sexual abuse.
We provided the CPG with a brief introduction to the group on our work to-date and some of our forthcoming plans. We hope that these will include work around safety on public transport, as well as in pubs and clubs, and will provide further information here.
We also gave a quick breakdown of some of the results from our survey with young people. Over 80% of respondents reported some experience of harassment, with the youngest respondent, age 12, reporting that she was sexually harassed walking home in school uniform – passers-by did not intervene. Additionally, one LGBT (Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender) respondent said that, as a gay woman, no streets felt safe for her.
While we attended the CPG primarily to update the group, we were also interested to hear from the Boys to Men project – a project funded by the Economic and Social Research Council why some boys go on to become perpetrators of domestic abuse while others do not.
Their study spanned three years, and their findings are detailed. A couple of statistics that stood out include that over half of 13-14 year olds had some direct experience of domestic abuse and girls were more likely than boys to have noticed domestic violence between parents and adult carers.
To find out more about this important research, you can visit www.boystomenproject.com or follow their work on twitter: @ESRCBoystoMen