Who Are We?
For Our Daughters works to end sexist homicide and violence against women – and to commemorate those who have died.
Who Is Involved?
This is a national campaign, involving women and men from all political parties, religious affiliations, backgrounds and communities.
What Do We Do?
We work to persuade the Government to:
- make reduction of sexist homicide and violence a political priority
- accept that because this violence is so often rooted in contempt for women, it should be be defined and separately monitored as sexist hate crime.
- honour and commemorate women and girls who have lost their lives – and children who have died with them
- work to raise public and media awareness and change attitudes.
Why Is This Needed?
Between three and four women and girls die each week as a result of male violence, of which two are killed by partners and ex-partners.
Although this is a higher annual death rate than existed during the years of Northern Ireland conflict and exceeds troop loss in Iraq and Afghanistan, no government has yet made safety for women and girls a political and financial priority.
What Is the Government’s Position?
We welcome the government’s acknowledgement that women and girls form the majority of victims of sexual and domestic violence.
We applaud Theresa May’s statement as Home Secretary that “The Government’s ambition is nothing less than ending all forms of violence against women and girls.”, but we see few signs that political leaders in any party intend to make achievement of this aim a political priority – despite concerns about family breakdown and annual costs of the violence being estimated at more than £40 billion in England and Wales alone.
What is Sexist Violence?
Sexist violence is any violence, threat or harassment which is targeted at women and girls or which disproportionately affects them because of gender inequality and prejudice, lack of political rights or discriminatory assumptions about women’s social role.
Often accompanied by gender-based verbal abuse, it is usually perpetrated by males. Its purpose is to humiliate, assert control or create fear.
Is it Hate Crime?
In our view, crime targeted at individuals because they are women is hate crime.
Racist and homophobic attacks and crimes against religious communities, disabled or transgendered people are deemed hate crimes and, in the main, attract increased sentences. However, similar assaults upon women are not judged to be so – even when offenders repeatedly target women or use grossly sexist language during assaults.
Is it a Political Issue?
Male violence against women is an offence against human rights which undermines families, damages children and subverts our institutions.
It is a corruption at the heart of our society, yet one that rarely features in mainstream political debate. Sexist homicide is its most extreme form and yet – unlike say racist, youth, drug or gang killing – is rarely discussed as a social problem demanding, and capable of, political solution.
Aren’t Men More Likely To Die Violently?
Every violent death is tragic and it is true that more males than females die violently.
However, male victims are not targeted because of their gender and overwhelmingly die at the hands of other males. The majority of female victims are killed by men, usually in their own homes and by partners or – in a grotesque parody of intimacy – during sexual assault by acquaintances or strangers. Women and girls are the only social group regularly targeted by serial killers – almost certainly due to their relative powerlessness and subordinate status. For similar reasons, they are the primary targets of so-called ‘honour killing’
How Are We Funded?
We are grateful to have received funding from the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust Ltd.
Apart from this we rely on and welcome donations. Cheques should be crossed and made out to “For Our Daughters”.
What Help Do We Need?
Apart from donations, we need support from individuals and organisations.
To discuss the form this might take and for more information, please contact:
Jean Calder, Director, For Our Daughters.
About the Editor
Jean Calder is the Director of For Our Daughters and is also the Editor of this website. She is a long-standing campaigner for women’s and children’s rights and the safety of vulnerable elders.
Born in South Africa, she came to the UK in 1972. She studied English Literature and Intellectual History at Sussex University, before qualifying as a social worker. She has more than 25 years’ experience of public service, mostly in the voluntary sector – and served for 4 years as an elected councillor.
She has worked with homeless and older people and those with mental health problems and addictions. However, most of her work has been with women and young people who have experienced domestic and sexual violence. She was a founder of Brighton’s Campaign Against Domestic Violence and the Women’s Refuge Project (now RISE) where she worked for 9 years. She was a carer for elderly parents and wrote as a part time freelance columnist for The Argus, Brighton & Hove’s local newspaper.
Jean belongs to no political party and says she’s an unorthodox Christian. She first conceived the idea of For Our Daughters in 1997 after she learned of the torture and murder of 16 year Kelly Anne Bates – a brutal killing which received little or no political or media attention. She decided that as soon as she had the time to do so, she would set up an organisation which would both commemorate such deaths and focus political attention on them, as a means to reduce the death rate. For Our Daughters is actively supported by Jean’s husband and their daughter.
The information about individual homicides on this website has been gathered from news media, principally national and local newspapers. It has already been published and is ‘in the public domain’.
We attempt to find several accounts of each homicide before information is posted and do not include information which seems contradictory. However, in some cases, media reports are extremely brief. We recognise we may occasionally and inadvertently reproduce inaccuracies and apologise for this. We welcome comments and suggested amendments.
We are aware that in many cases, the killing of women is not reported in national media, nor on the internet. It is a huge task to monitor local media and Police websites for such reports. Therefore, we would welcome the assistance of members of the public and hope they will be prepared to alert us to reports of individual cases of suspected homicide or possible attempted homicides of women and girls (and any related homicides of children) in their area. Wherever possible please send copies of, or links to, newspaper articles or other reports in the public domain.
We welcome comments from bereaved family members and friends and will be honoured to publish obituaries and poems. However, please be aware that the content of comments and submissions will be checked and moderated. For legal reasons, we cannot publish details of current investigations or comments about identifiable living individuals which are not already in the public domain.
If you have information about abuse please ensure it is passed to the police and also – in the case of children or vulnerable adults – to Social Services.
‘Comment pieces’ expressing opinions on a number of matters of importance to For Our Daughters are written by the Director of For Our Daughters and identified as Editorial Comment.
Comment pieces from guest contributors will be very welcome and will be identified by name or pseudonym. The final decision about whether and how they are used will rest with the Director.
Finally, we would welcome any other information regarding violence against women- such as local council reports, police statistics etc – which members of the public may think would be helpful to our work.