Toxic and threatening behaviour, language and intentions must not be passed off as a ‘joke’, a ‘hoax’ or isolated incidents.
Wednesday 21st April 2021
STATEMENT - THE WOMEN'S CENTRE CORNWALL
21st March 2021
In light of recently shared posts and the community’s response in relation to threats of sexual violence against women in our county, we, at The Women’s Centre Cornwall feel that it is important to clearly state that toxic and threatening behaviour, language and intentions must not be passed off as a ‘joke’, a ‘hoax’ or isolated incidents.
There is nothing humorous or trivial about the epidemic of violence that exists and the culture of misogyny that allows it to manifest. It cannot and must not be brushed aside. Women are immobilised by misogyny and the insidious ways in which it frequents every corner of society. We are handed a list of do’s and don’ts; we are told we are not safe unless we are sober. Not safe unless we are in a group. Not safe unless we are dressed appropriately. Not safe unless we walk home with our keys in our hands as a weapon. Not safe unless we are at home with our doors locked. In reality, we have seen that we can do all of these things and STILL have violence and abuse perpetrated against us – not only on the streets but also in our homes.
We feel the conversation has to shift from being women-blaming where we expect women to modify and curtail their very being, to placing blame and responsibility where it belongs – on the perpetrator of abuse. Women and girls are not responsible for ending male violence, we are responsible for inhabiting the world, free from oppression, violence and abuse.
Male violence against women and girls needs challenging at every level; we need to see structural change in terms of policy and responses; we need men to take responsibility. We need men to share the outrage and call out misogyny and violence when they see it. We need men to stop perpetrating violence and abuse.