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Thu 18 Apr 2019

Feminism

What exactly is feminism?

In modern society, gender equality is seen as an expectation; coming about after decades of a political and social movement in aid of giving women the same rights as men. Those who hold these ideals coin the phrase ‘feminism’ to describe their beliefs.

Feminism can be defined as;

“a range of political movements, ideologies, and social movements that share a common goal: to define, establish and achieve political, economic, personal, and social gender equality”

 

Let’s bust some myths

“Feminists hate men”

There is a distinct difference between hating men and hating the patriarchy. The patriarchy is a societal system dominated by men, where women are seen as inferior... a.k.a. misogyny. This is not hating men, feminists believe in equal rights and opportunities for everyone.

 

“Feminists only fight for women’s rights”

As can be seen from the dictionary definition of feminism, it is a movement aimed at achieving gender equality. In current society, there is still an inequality, where women face oppression politically, economically, personally and socially. Therefore, it would make sense that there is some focus on women’s rights, though this will change as society does.

 

“Men cannot be feminists”

Anyone can be a feminist, regardless of gender. If you believe that all genders are equal, then congratulations, you are a feminist!

 

Controversies in feminism

There are a select number of people who identify themselves as feminists and hold the divisive view that in order to be a woman, you must have been assigned female at birth. They have come to be known as ‘TERFS’ a.k.a. Trans-exclusionary Radical Feminists, who believe that trans-women are not women and should not be included in the argument of women’s rights.

Those who are opposed to these views state that TERFS are not in fact feminists, as they are excluding and oppressing trans women based on their gender. Therefore, undermining the basic principles of feminism.

Iconic Feminists

 Emmeline Pankhurst

 Pankhurst was a leading British women's rights activist, who led the movement to win the right for women to vote. In 1889, Emmeline founded the Women's Franchise League, which fought to allow married women to vote in local elections.
 

Maya Angelou

Through her literature, public speaking and powerful writing, Maya Angelou inspired both women and African Americans to overcome gender and race discrimination. In 2011, Angelou was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom for her works that spanned over 50 years including 36 books, seven autobiographies and over 50 honorary degrees.
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Fri 08 Feb 2019

Consent

Within society (#MeToo Movement) and particularly highlighted in the student community, the topic of consent has been at the forefront of many minds.

People typically talk about consent in the context of some kind of sexual or physical activity with a partner. In a healthy relationship, both (or all) partners are able to openly talk about and agree on what kind of activity they want to engage in. Whether it’s holding hands, kissing, touching, intercourse, or anything else, it’s really important for everyone in the relationship to feel comfortable with what’s happening.

 

What is consent?

“Someone consents to vaginal, anal or oral penetration only if s/he agrees by choice to that penetration and has the freedom and capacity to make that choice. Consent to sexual activity may be given to one sort of sexual activity but not another, e.g.to vaginal but not anal sex or penetration with conditions, such as wearing a condom. Consent can be withdrawn at any time during sexual activity and each time activity occurs.” (Section 74 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003)

 

Sexual Assault, Rape and the Law

In the UK, there is understood to be a difference between what constitutes sexual assault and what can be classed as rape.

Rape is when an individual forces their penis into the mouth, anus or vagina of another person; when that person does not want them to do so. Noted as being ‘without consent’ under UK law.

Sexual assault is a crime that can be committed regardless of genitalia and can include:

  • Being forced or pressured into sex acts which you don’t want to do
  • Objects or parts of the body (e.g. a finger) being put into someone's vagina or anus when that person didn't want it to happen.
  • Someone being touched in a sexual way that makes them feel uncomfortable or frightened. This could be through their clothes (like bottom pinching).
  • Someone being made to masturbate
  • Any other form of physical closeness that happens without consent is known as sexual assault.

Rape and Sexual Assault can carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, depending on the circumstances. Other sentences can include the issue of a Sexual Offences Prevention Order, or registering on the sex offenders notification requirement (otherwise known as the ‘Sex Offenders’ register).

 

Expectations when making an allegation

Each report of rape or sexual assault is unique to the individual and circumstance so the way that the investigation happens can vary. Despite this, there are standards for what you can expect from the Police. You can expect to:

  • Be spoken to by a uniformed officer to take an initial account and ensure your welfare
  • Have a Sexual Offence Investigation Technique (SOIT) officer assigned to you to explain what is happening at each step and answer any questions you may have.
  • Have you right to anonymity protected if you attend court as a witness

 

Reporting- charities, hub, etc

There are options for how and where you report a case of rape or sexual assault. You can the Police and arranging to go to a station or arrange for them to meet in a place you are more comfortable with.

There are also several charities that can help you through making these reports should you feel the need for such support. Some of these include, Rape Crisis and Victim Support.

  • One in Five Women in England and Wales have experienced some form of Sexual Assault since the age of 16
  • 80% of victims did not report their experiences to the Police

 

Support & Campaigns

The Student Hub (Solent University)

Student.hub@solent.ac.uk               

Tel: 023 82015200

UK Says No More Campaign

uksaysnomore.org/

Victim Support

www.victimsupport.org.uk

Tel: 08 08 16 89 111

Rape Crisis

www.rapecrisis.org.uk

 

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Mon 21 Jan 2019

Hate Crime

HATE CRIME IS:

Any criminal offence which is perceived by the victim or any other person as being motivated by prejudice or hate, based on a person’s race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or gender. Or a person’s perceived race, religious belief, sexual orientation, disability or gender.

Hate CRIME CAN BE:

Physical violence and assault, verbal abuse, obscene calls or text, offensive mail, email or graffiti. It can be damage to property, arson, dumping of rubbish, or offensive or dangerous substances posted through letterboxes.

 

Remember that if you are ever a victim of hate crime, then please do report it to the appropriate authority, be that the Police, the University, or one of the many Third Party Reporting Centres in Southampton.

 

Reporting to the Police

In emergencies, it is crucial that you call the Police on 999. The non-emergency number for your police force is 101. If you report a case to the police, you should expect:

  • To be seen, in most cases by a police officer who will record your statement
  • To be treated fairly and with respect at all times
  • To be kept informed of what is going on throughout the case
  • That the incident will be investigated professionally
  • You will be contacted by the officer in the case
  • You will be informed of the outcome of the investigation
  • The chance to give the police feedback on their performance
  • To be contacted by victim support, if you wish
  • To be told by the police if someone is charged with the offence
  • To be told by the CPS if the charge is dropped or downgraded
  • To be given advice about applying for compensation

 

Third Party Reporting Centre?

Professionals from across different sector admit that they believe hate crimes of all types are underreported. It can often be a daunting process if you feel as though you have to directly report your experiences to the police, which is okay.

Third Party Reporting Centres provide you with an alternative way of reporting hate crimes, as well as providing with information, confidential advice, help reporting incidents and fully support you along the way! You even have the option of being totally anonymous in the reporting if you’d prefer, with there being no pressure on you having any contact with the police at all.

Partnership working has led to the setting up of 35 Third Party Reporting Centres across Hampshire and the Isle of White.

 

The nearest Third Party Hate Crime Reporting Centre to Solent University is The Edge & The Box Bar.

 

Why you should report it?

Hate Crime can be a civil and/or a criminal offence! There are a wide range of civil and criminal powers which make direct reference to incidents of Hate Crime or Harassment, with other acts can be used to deal with nuisance Harassment where prejudice cannot be shown.

 

Hate Crime Myths

Myth

Fact

It happens too often to report each one

Each and every hate incident and hate crime is one too many. The Police want to hear every time you are a victim. Each offence will be logged and will receive a police response.

If I report it to the police it will get worse

As with any victim of crime, the Police will offer support to ensure that offenders can't go on targeting you. In many cases, once people understand the way their behaviour is impacting on others it helps them to change their ways.

If someone is victimising you then the chances are they are doing it to other people too. If everyone fails to report such behaviours then they will continue to do it. Your report could be all it takes for us to tackle their behaviour.

I'll have to go to court

The ideal outcome to any report of a hate incident or hate crime is a resolution that fits the crime and satisfies the victim. All hate crime investigations are victim-focused and we will work with you to decide the best course of action. If you don't want to take legal action there are alternative options available such as community resolutions.

Unfortunately, sometimes there is no option but to go to court if you want to see an offender brought to justice and prevent other people being victimised. If this is the case then the Crown Prosecution Service is committed to supporting you and making giving evidence as easy as possible.

I didn't think it was serious enough to report it

There's no such thing as a minor hate incident or hate crime. Offenders target people because of who they are; something that makes them unique. This is wrong and we will respond. Report it

Myths provided by https://www.westmercia.police.uk/article/17015/Hate-crime-myths

 

Hate Crime on Campus

Solent University and aims to foster a community with a culture of mutual trust, fairness, harmony and respect devoid of hatred and intolerance. It is committed to the elimination of both direct and indirect discrimination and will take appropriate decisive action wherever possible to enforce this commitment.

 

Homophobic Hate Crime

  • 1 in 4 LGBT people had experienced physical assault as a part of a hate crime
  • In 2016/17 at least 9,157 hate crimes motivated by the victim’s sexual orientation were recorded by UK Police forces

Disability Hate Crime

  • There were 5,558 recorded cases of disability hate crime in 2016/17

Religious Hate Crime

  • 5,949 religious hate crimes were recorded by UK Police forces in 2016/17

Racist Hate Crime

  • In 2016/17, 62,685 racially motivated hate crimes were recorded by UK Police forces
  • The number of race hate crimes increased by 27 percent between 2015/16 and 2016/17

 

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