Over the last few days there has been widespread media coverage of victim blaming remarks made in the wake of the sentencing of Sarah Everard’s murderer, Wayne Couzens.
IDAS condemns language that blames victims or minimises the responsibility of perpetrators. Women are not responsible for male violence and placing the onus on women to change their behaviour to avoid sexual harassment, rape or murder, is wrong.
We believe that victim blaming language is a result of misogyny and sexism, which is still pervasive in our society and institutions.
Sexist remarks, derogatory language, gender stereotypes and discrimination are still rife and, left unchecked, result in a culture which enables some men to see women as somehow less than them, there to be controlled, abused or used for male gratification.
It is therefore vital that organisations and individuals engage urgently in the difficult, introspective work required to understand how these attitudes and beliefs affect our culture and contribute towards the epidemic of male violence against women that we have seen brought into sharp focus by recent horrific events.
We are committed to challenging sexism and misogyny and to working with our partners to tackle male violence against women and girls and to make real, lasting change.
We will hold perpetrators to account for sexism, misogyny, abuse and violence wherever and whenever it occurs, in the workplace, on the streets or in our homes.
Additionally, as an independent specialist charity, we support anyone subject to domestic abuse or sexual violence in North Yorkshire, Sheffield and Barnsley. Our experienced workers offer confidential, non-judgmental emotional and practical support.