Episode 26

Published on:

5th Apr 2023

Andrea Simon (End Violence Against Women Coalition) - Tackling Misogyny and Abuse in the Police and Beyond

Responding to serious public concern following the kidnap, rape and murder of Sarah Everard by a serving officer, together with multiple other deeply disturbing incidents, Baroness Casey’s recent independent review of London’s Metropolitan Police has highlighted institutional misogyny, racism and homophobia in the force. The review found serious failings in the Met’s leadership, recruitment, vetting, training, culture and communications, and made widespread recommendations for restoring public trust.

In this episode, we talk to Andrea Simon, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), about their response to the ongoing revelations coming out of the Met and Britain’s police forces; what needs to be done to take forward efforts to prevent violence against women and girls in the UK at this critical moment; and the contribution men and boys can make to that.

The End Violence Against Women Coalition is a group of feminist organisations and experts across the UK, working to end violence against women and girls in all its forms. It’s made up of over 135 specialist women’s support services, researchers, activists, survivors and NGOs. Andrea has worked at EVAW since 2017, and before that she campaigned on issues such as child trafficking and modern slavery and spent more than a decade working for Members of Parliament.

Find out more about EVAW: http://evaw.org.uk

We cover the following topics in this episode: 

  • The Casey Review of the culture and standards of behaviour within the Metropolitan Police, and responses to it (00:55 - 04:52)
  • The gendered ways in which police resources are distributed (04:53-07:58)
  • The extent to which reforming the police is possible (07:58-10:41)
  • Seeking radical change whilst pushing for action in the here and now (10:41-13:05)
  • Why prevention work is so important and what more needs to be done (13:05-16:57)
  • The role of schools in prevention, and EVAW’s #AboutTime campaign (16:57-20:22)
  • The contribution men and boys can make to ending violence against women (20:22-24:03)
  • Tensions which can arise when working with men and boys (24:03-25:43)
  • Shifts Andrea has observed during her time in the violence against women sector (25:43-30:03)
  • What keeps Andrea motivated and hopeful in doing this work (30:03-32:26)
  • Why an intersectional, anti-racist approach is so important (32:26-36:20)
  • The impact of anti-immigration rhetoric on efforts to support victim-survivors (36:20-39:09)
  • Backlash to gender equality from figures such as Andrew Tate (39:09-42:45)
  • Tackling online abuse, and the UK’s Online Safety Bill (42:45-44:50)
  • Bringing about political action (44:50-48:42)
  • Why a feminist approach is so valuable (48:42-52:02)

Further resources:

If you have been affected by sexual violence, information and support is available from Rape Crisis: https://rapecrisis.org.uk/get-help/

Contact the UK National Domestic Abuse Helpline: https://www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/

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About the Podcast

Now and Men
Current conversations about men's lives
What's it like to be a man in the 21st century? How are feminist issues relevant to men and boys? How can we engage in productive conversations about gender equality? These questions are being discussed more than ever.

Our monthly podcast delves into these issues with experts such as practitioners, activists and academics. In each episode, you’ll hear in-depth conversations about a wide-range of topics connected to masculinity and the lives of men and boys, such as preventing gender-based violence, promoting active fatherhood, and supporting men's health.

The podcast is hosted by two social science researchers, based on the opposite sides of the world: Sandy Ruxton from Durham University's Centre for Research into Violence and Abuse (UK) and Dr Stephen Burrell from the University of Melbourne (Australia). If you would like to give us your feedback, suggest a guest, or have a question you'd like us to discuss, get in touch at nowandmen@gmail.com. And if you like what we do, please share us with your friends, and leave a review on Apple podcasts!

About your hosts

Stephen Burrell

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I am a Lecturer in Criminology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, where I moved to at the beginning of 2024. My research is about men, masculinities and violence. I am particularly interested in the prevention of men's violence against women, building gender equality, addressing environmental harm, and promoting an ethic of care among men and boys. In my spare time I'm a big fan of drinking tea, being in nature, eating vegan ice cream, and listening to heavy metal music. I'm also a trustee for White Ribbon UK.

Sandy Ruxton

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Honorary Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology at Durham University (UK). Independent researcher, expert on men and masculinities. Previous policy work on human rights, children and families, poverty and social exclusion, and asylum and migration. Programme experience with boys and young men in schools, community, and prisons. Steering Committee member, MenEngage Europe. Volunteer for OX4 Food Crew. Chess-player, bike-rider, tree-hugger. Great grandfather edited Boy's Own Paper, but was sacked.