United Kingdom: New Report Examines Effects of Gang-Related and Serious Youth Violence on Women and Girls
Tuesday, May 31, 2011 9:20 AM

Race on the Agenda's (ROTA) 2011 Female Voice in Violence Final Report illuminates the effects that gangs and serious youth violence have on women and girls in the United Kingdom.  Previously, most attention and resources have been spent on researching the effects of this violence on males. ROTA’s report reveals the physical, emotional, and sexual abuse that women and girls face. The women who participated in this story did so at great risk, and the authors state that there will be no progress made until there is an environment of safe disclosure. 

The report makes five main findings: first, females are affected by gang-related and serious youth violence because people close to them are involved; second, risk management structures are necessary to allow girls the ability to leave their violent environment; third, current policy and practice in the areas of youth violence and child protection do not effectively address gender-based violence; fourth, national and local structures need to work together by creating minimum standards that are easily implemented in local communities; lastly, males need guidance and structure in understanding the reality of negative attitudes and actions towards females.

The report notes that some progress has been made to improve the conditions for women and girls who face gang-related and serious youth violence. Among the improvements outlined in the report are a number of additions to London's strategy to end violence against women and girls and the appointment of a Gender Champion to the London Serious Youth Violence Board. However, the large scale of the issue requires greater urgency and greater protection for women and girls than is currently being implemented.

The report states that policy and practice need to recognize violence as a child-protection concern, that strategic and operational plans are necessary for responding to gang-related crimes against women and girls, an inquiry into the lives of girls in male-dominated surroundings should be commissioned by the Department for Education and The Ministry of Justice, and that volunteer sector organizations should be funded to create positive communications and partnerships.


Compiled from: This is it...This is my Life. Female Voice in Violence Final Report, ROTA (2011); Svrilist (26 May 2011).