Why does nia prioritise women?
nia is a feminist organisation. A feminist approach is an essential foundation for understanding and working to end men’s violence against women and children because:
- Women experience the majority of violence – physical and sexual – in relationships. Women are more likely than men to be injured, killed and to fear the abuser.
- Approximately 85,000 women are raped in England and Wales every year. These figures include assaults by penetration and attempts.
- Men perpetrate the majority of incidents of violence, whether in intimate relationships or not, whether against women or other men.
- Women who are killed by men, whether current or former partners, mothers, victims of robbery, prostituted women, significantly outnumber men who are killed by women.
- There is inequality between women and men in society including, but not limited to, income, work opportunities, childcare & domestic responsibilities and access to public space.
- There are different expectations of typical and acceptable forms of male and female behaviours, and girls and boys are socialised into these from birth.
- Women and girls are routinely objectified, a key element of men’s subordination of women.
nia believes that denying women’s much greater suffering as victims of domestic and/or sexual violence and prostitution is a political act. This does not mean that we think that domestic violence, sexual violence, prostitution and forced marriage etc. do not happen to men and boys, neither that we think that all men are violent. The differences between men and women’s use of violence and experiences of victimisation do not need to be denied or minimised for all victim-survivors to be deserving of safety and support.
nia recognises that men’s violence against women and girls is both a cause and consequence of sex inequality. Whilst perpetrators must be held responsible for their actions and behaviours; men’s violence against women is not reducible simply to individual acts perpetrated by individual men, but is a key instrument of men’s domination of women, supported and normalised by patriarchal institutions, attitudes and social norms and values.
To achieve equality in practice, different groups may require different treatment because they are differently situated in an unequal society. Equal treatment, without consideration of people’s different characteristics and structural inequality, can perpetuate disadvantage.
For these reasons, nia believes that a sex-based approach is an essential foundation for understanding and working to end men’s violence against women, girls and children.