Students heard powerful accounts from a variety of speakers as New City College Havering Sixth Form held an event to raise awareness on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
International campaigner Payzee Malika told how at 16 she was forced into marriage to a much older man and how her sister was a victim of an ‘honour’ killing. She now spends her time working to bring about a change to women’s rights and she went on to urge students to speak out, help change society and make a difference to the world around them.
Also speaking to the students were Met Police Chief Inspector Louise Jackson and Dan Allchurch from Talk Consent. Louise spoke about the work being done by the police and how everyone can help to make women feel safer if they are out at night and Dan gave an explanation of what consent between two people really means.
Students heard about high profile cases of violence against women, such as the murders of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa and most recently Zara Aleena – who was walking home from a night out in Ilford – as well as being educated on the more prevalent issues of coercion, control, cat calling, cyber bullying and sexting.
As part of the event there were also interactive activities and information stalls run by visiting charities and organisations such as Sex Ed Matters, Forward, Respond, East London Rape Crisis Team, the Met Police and Talk Consent where students could design badges, tote bags and keyrings. Students were given tutorials on the importance of the day and were able to express what it meant to them.