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Committee looks at cultures underpinning male violence

19 March 2021

The Women and Equalities Committee will look at government action to change cultures underpinning male violence.


The Committee met with the Minister for Safeguarding, Victoria Atkins MP, in January to discuss the forthcoming strategies on Violence Against Women and Girls and Domestic Abuse.

The committee published correspondence between the Committee and the Minister following the meeting.

The issue cuts across a number of policy areas:

  • Sexual and racialised harassment on public transport and in public places
  • Harmful media images that normalise sexual and other violence
  • Teaching children about respectful relationships and gender equality
  • Women's safety in the workplace
  • Funding for specialist domestic and sexual abuse support services including support for Black and minority women

Despite this, the Government correspondence provides no information about what mechanisms are in place to ensure that all government departments play their part or what action is being taken to prevent violence against women and girls in the first place.

This is despite the UK's commitment through the Sustainable Development Goals to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030.

The Committee will look at:

  • What the Government is doing to measure progress on changing attitudes and cultures that underpin or normalise male violence?
  • Why are public prevention campaigns, including This Is Abuse/Disrespect Nobody, so invisible compared with public health and road safety campaigns?
  • How is the Government taking action following its own research on engaging men and boys in gender equality and the relationship between pornography use and harmful sexual behaviours?

Chair's comments

Committee Chair Caroline Nokes MP said:

"This is a distressing time for everyone—both women and men—who believes that women and girls have the right to live their lives in freedom and without the threat or reality of violence.

"The Government has made long-standing commitments to take all measures to eliminate violence against women and girls and we will be asking how they are doing this.

"In the first instance, we will be holding a session to hear from experts about how to change cultures and attitudes that underpin male violence, and the Committee will then consider which particular issues to explore in more detail."

Further information

Image: Kari Shea, unsplash