Election 2015: Compulsory sex and relationships education can help end violence against women

Election 2015: 'Compulsory sex and relationships education can help end violence against women'IBTimes UK

With the general election campaign underway, NGOs are calling for Britain's political parties to tackle the pandemic of violence against women. From the closure of refuges for women affected by domestic violence to a lack of contemporary education on sex and relationships, women and girls are increasingly at risk of abuse.

IBTimes UK met with Sarah Green, director of the End Violence Against Women coalition, to talk about what needs to be done by the political parties to help tackle violence, harassment and the toxic sexism that runs throughout society.

EVAW is a unique coalition of organisations and individuals campaigning to end all forms of violence against women, from domestic violence to rape and female genital mutilation. Set up in 2005, EVAW lobbies all levels of government in the UK, to challenge attitudes that tolerate and condone violence against women.

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The extent of violence against women in Britain is shocking. One in four women suffer abuse as a result of domestic violence in their lifetime, while up to two women a week are killed in England and Wales by a current or ex-partner. And although most incidents are not reported, police receive a domestic violence-related phone call every 30 seconds.

Around 65,000 girls in the UK are at risk of female genital mutilation, a violation of human rights that commonly leads to infection, infertility and death. At least 80,000 women are raped every year - and 21% of girls experience some form of child sexual abuse.

Moves to tackle violence against women have been made, such as the criminalisation of revenge pornography in October 2014 and the government's This Is Abuse campaign, aimed at young male perpetrators. But with three million still at risk of violence every year in the UK, EVAW is pushing the parties to do more to end the crisis.

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