Activist urges people to help Government end 'horrific crimes' against women and girls

17 February 2021, 16:12

By Fiona Jones

The Government has put out a call for evidence to inform their strategy on preventing violence against women and girls - activist Nimco Ali is calling for all people to contribute to end these horrific crimes.

The Government has put out a call for evidence in order to collect views from those with lived experience of, or views on, crimes considered as violence against women and girls. It closes on 17 Feb at 11.45pm.

You can take the survey here.

Social activist Nimco Ali is the Independent Government Advisor on Tackling Violence against Women is urging all women from diverse backgrounds to fill out consultation.

Ms Ali, who is of Somali heritage, found that when she came to the UK there have been a lot of "well-meaning white people" who dehumanise girls of colour when it comes to the horrific crime of female genital mutilation (FGM).

She said it would be "seen as a horrific crime if it was committed to a non-black or African child.

"It is draining, it is soul-destroying, but ultimately we are winning the fight in the sense that last year FGM got added to the Children's Act and children in this country who are impacted by FGM or a risk of FGM have never been more protected."

Ms Ali told LBC's Shelagh Fogarty that she was sat in a room with the Home Secretary and there were young girls talking to them about public sexual harassment.

"As a woman, I think it should be illegal but it's not and one of the young people said to me stood out: it's illegal to litter in this country, but it's not illegal to say horrifically disgusting things to a schoolgirl," she said.

"That's why this consultation is needed, it's to hear the voices of young women like that."

The Government has said:

"We are seeking your views to help inform the development of the government’s next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy. We are particularly keen to hear from people who may feel underrepresented in previous strategies or who feel their circumstances were not supported by existing services.

"In addition to those with lived experiences of these issues, we are also seeking the views of those with expertise in working with victims and survivors, those involved in preventative activity, and those involved in providing services.

"This includes relevant professionals, such as those working in social care, education, law enforcement, local government, public health and healthcare.

"Everyone aged 16 or over is welcome to contribute to the call for evidence, you do not have to have experienced violence or abuse to take part."