News & Campaigns
Until 20:30 @ Lexi Cinema, 194b Chamberlayne Road, London NW10 3JU
Join Doc Society for a FREE screening of the inspiring and award-winning documentary film, Knock Down The House
Fatigued by Brexit and the unequal state of British politics?
This film is a refreshing antidote!
Join Doc Society for a FREE screening of the inspiring and award-winning documentary film, Knock Down The House.
The film will be accompanied by a lively post film conversation with special guests about ways to #KnockDownBarriers in politics and what you can do to get involved.
About the guests
The UK is in desperate need of political fresh air, underscored by the stark inequality of representation in Parliament today but exacerbated by the current political crisis. Our elected officials are not representative of the nation in terms of gender, ethnicity or class.
BUT the brilliant guests joining us for this event are all addressing this inequality in some way:
- (CHAIR) Rachel Shabi Having reported extensively on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and wider Middle East, Rachel Shabi now covers British politics and is a regular broadcast commentator.@rachshabi
- Fatima Manji is an English television journalist and newsreader, working for Channel 4 News. Manji became Britain’s first hijab-wearing TV newsreader in March 2016. @fatimamanji
- Jack Shenker is a journalist and author based in London and Cairo, who writes about politics, protest, and anything else that springs to mind. @hackneylad
- Shanae Dennis Shanae is a biochemist, journalist & campaigner. A mother to a 6 year old boy and member of the Young Women’s Trust advisory panel. @shanaedennis_
About the film
Four exceptional women mount grassroots campaigns against powerful incumbents in Knock Down the House, an inspiring look at the 2018 midterm elections that tipped the balance of power.
When tragedy struck her family in the middle of the financial crisis, Bronx-born Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez had to work double shifts as a bartender to save her home from foreclosure. After losing a loved one to a preventable medical condition, Amy Vilela didn’t know what to do with the anger she felt about America’s broken health care system. Cori Bush, a registered nurse and pastor, was drawn to the streets when the police shooting of an unarmed black man brought protests and tanks into her neighborhood. A coal miner’s daughter, Paula Jean Swearengin was fed up with watching her friends and family suffer from the environmental effects of the coal industry.
Winner of the Audience Award: U.S. Documentary and the Festival Favorite Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, Knock Down the House joins these courageous women on the campaign trail as they mobilize their bases, engage voters, and fuel a movement during a historic time in American politics. Directed by Rachel Lears
For more information & trailer: https://knockdownthehouse.com/
Before You Sign Up For Your Ticket, Have You Registered To Vote?
- ⅓ of 18-34s are not registered to vote. Millions of young people risk missing out on the chance to have their say at this general election. Make sure you register today (hurry hurry! Deadline to register is 26th November)
- Register to Vote: https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote
(*) Free but register online at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/knock-down-the-house-screening-panel-discussion-kensal-green-tickets-80022943779
Childline Annual Review 2018/19 shows other major concerns around mental health issues, family relationships and suicidal thoughts
In more than a third of counselling sessions about child sexual exploitation young people said they were targeted online – usually through social media or video games, and often by their peers or people they knew.
Over the last year:
- most commonly children got help from Childline because they were forced to perform or watch sexual acts
- some children were threatened and told that naked images would be shared with friends and family
- exploitation featured in more than half of the counselling sessions about sexual abuse2
- some children had received gifts or affection in exchange for sexual activities
- the number of children aged 16-18 receiving counselling for sexual exploitation had increased by a quarter.
The NSPCC is calling on the Government to provide proper training to teachers so they can deliver effective and relevant lessons about healthy relationships, consent and sex; and support young people to get help from a trusted adult.
Peter Wanless, NSPCC Chief Executive said:
The Government must ensure teachers are confident to teach the new Relationship and Sex education lessons rolling out next year, and Childline needs more volunteers to make sure they can be there for every child who needs our help, at all times of day and night.”
Worried about a child?
The number of children in England identified by councils as having been abused for reasons associated with witchcraft have risen by a third in the past three years, the Local Government Association has revealed.
Abuse of children based on faith or belief – which includes witchcraft, spirit possession and black magic – increased from 1,460 to 1,950 cases between 2016/17 and 2018/19, a rise of 34 per cent, with councils dealing with the equivalent of 38 such cases a week.
The new figures also show that the number of children identified by councils through a social work assessment as either having or being at risk of FGM has reached a record high – with 1,000 such cases in 2018/19, up 6 per cent on the 940 cases in the previous year.
The National FGM Centre, a joint initiative between the LGA and Barnardo’s, says both sets of figures are hugely worrying, of significant national concern and probably don’t reflect the true prevalence of this “hidden” crime.
The LGA said that council social workers have become better at identifying cases, and that the work of the National FGM Centre – which provides services for children and their families affected by FGM and abuse linked to faith or belief – is vital.
The figures also reflect the pressure on children’s services with social workers starting new “episode of need” cases for more than 1,000 children each day.
The LGA said the next government needs to ensure councils have the funding needed to continue to take effective action to keep children safe from harm and abuse.
Cllr Anita Lower, the LGA’s lead on FGM and Chair of the National FGM Centre’s Advisory Board, said:
“Rising cases of FGM and child abuse linked to faith or belief are extremely worrying and are destroying the lives of children and young people in communities across the country.
“Social workers have become better at identifying the signs of FGM and belief-related abuse, but the true incidence rate is likely to be higher as these crimes are under-reported.
“Councils are determined to tackle the practice of FGM and work with partner organisations to do everything possible to protect and support children and young people.
“To support this goal, children’s services departments need to have the funding to address the huge demand for help from children and their families and maximise the effectiveness of prevention and intervention work.”
Leethen Bartholomew, Head of the National FGM Centre, said:
“It is alarming and unacceptable that the number of children affected by child abuse linked to faith and belief and FGM have risen dramatically.
“While it is positive that cases are being referred and affected children are receiving the care and protection they need, a lot more needs to be done to put an end to these harmful practices.
“We want to help end new cases of FGM in England by 2030 and to safeguard children from other harmful practices like child abuse linked to faith or belief. In order to achieve this, we need more partnership working, resources to tackle the issue, mandatory training for professionals and more awareness raised among communities.”
- Characteristics of children in need tables (Table C3) published for 2018/19, 2017/18 and 2016/17.
- Since the National FGM Centre began operation it has worked on 354 referrals or consultations in three years and been involved with 35 FGM Protection Orders – around 9 per cent of all orders made across the country. The Centre has worked with more than 259 adult and child survivors, and also works with law enforcement and other partners to raise awareness about FGM.
- For more information about the work of the National FGM Centre click here.
Victims of sexual violence are being forced to spend hundreds of pounds for devices that are in the hands of investigators as support groups demand urgent action to halt the billing.
Rape Crisis Scotland has accused companies of making “deeply unethical” profits by not pausing payments on contracts until phones held for examination by detectives often for many months.
The charity said rape survivors have been left without their phones for years in some cases while forced to continue paying monthly bills. And many have said trying to end contracts for phones held by police is a torturous, protracted process.
One woman supported by Rape Crisis Scotland had two mobile phones taken by Police Scotland in spring 2014, but the trial for her case was not held until July 2018.
Police Scotland has also been criticised for not having specific guidelines on how victims’ phones should be handled during investigations.
The suggestion that cases might not proceed unless victims hand over personal data from their phones and how that data might be used by defence lawyers has provoked fears women might be deterred from reporting attacks.
The Scottish force says it asks for mobile phone data from rape complainants when it is “necessary and appropriate” but Rape Crisis Scotland said there was an “apparent lack of process”.
Sandy Brindley, of Rape Crisis Scotland, said that, although phones are often returned in an acceptable time frame, some survivors have had devices held for months, sometimes years. She added:
“There are several key issues here: first is the practical inconvenience of suddenly being without a device that most of us rely on every day for our calendar, our contacts, our communication and more – with no guarantee or even reliable estimation as to when it will be returned.
“This increases the risk of isolation at a time where a compassionate support network is so important to a survivors’ wellbeing.
“Secondly there is the financial burden whereby phone companies in our view have a responsibility to, at the very least, pause payment on a phone contract until it is safely back in the hands of the owner.
“To profit from these serious and traumatic situations is deeply unethical, yet we hear time and time again that survivors waste hours on the phone to mobile providers trying unsuccessfully to reach the right person to alleviate this burden.”
Asked what procedures were in place for seeking consent to access a mobile phone, Police Scotland said:
“The treatment of any information provided to the police by victims or witnesses is generally voluntary.
“On this basis, police officers will seize the item in a manner that is consistent with the force expectation to which any individual’s property would be signed over.”
However, Ms Brindley said there should be a transparent process to reassure people.
“For any one of us, the idea of having your phone seized and searched – with no transparent procedural parameters around what is on/off limits – is deeply unpleasant and can leave a feeling of intense vulnerability,” she added.
“The prospect of having intimate and personal photos and correspondence on their phone accessed by the police can even put people off reporting in the first place.
“No-one expects that reporting rape will be easy and phones are often a necessary part of an investigation, but at the very least survivors should be able to expect there will be clear, transparent processes around the length of time that phones will be taken and what will be accessed.”
Part of a longer article at https://www.sundaypost.com/fp/rape-victims-reveal-how-they-have-been-forced-to-pay-hundreds-of-pounds-for-phones-taken-by-police-as-possible-evidenceto-make-profits-from-such-traumatic-circumstances-is-deeply-unethic/