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Sarah Everard protest
Photography Melissa Arras

6 organisations to support in the fight against gender-based violence

Activist groups such as Sisters Uncut have made vital calls for justice and an end to state violence in the wake of Sarah Everard’s death, but the fight is far from over

On March 13, hundreds of people gathered on Clapham Common to pay tribute to Sarah Everard, who was kidnapped and murdered while walking home from a friend’s house a week earlier. The vigil, which took place despite police pushback, embodied the countrywide sadness and anger that was sparked by the killing, rooted in a culture of male violence against women.

Activist groups and supporters at the vigil also drew attention to the ongoing issue of police brutality and state violence, in light of a serving Metropolitan police officer being charged with Everard’s murder. In a grim but expected turn of events, the vigil ended with unprovoked and excessive police violence – officers trampled tributes, attempted to silence speakers, and made arrests when mourners and protesters expressed their opposition.

At subsequent marches, hundreds more people have protested against the Met’s aggressive response, as well as a proposed policing bill that threatens our right to protest. “We’re screaming as loud as we can and our throats are sore,” two friends told Dazed at a gathering in Parliament Square. “But we’re going to keep going because this is our lives, and we’re going to fight to the bitter end. Enough is enough, and we’ll keep shouting until it’s done.”

Sisters Uncut, in particular, organised five straight days of action beginning on March 13. The value of this direct action was made clear on March 18, when it was announced that the controversial policing bill would be delayed. The same day, it was also decided that misogyny will be considered a hate crime in the UK – though activists argue that individualising hate and increasing police powers does nothing to address systemic issues and actually enact change.

Despite the new changes, the fight against gender-based harassment, assault, and state violence is far from over. A recent survey exposed that 97 per cent of women in the UK aged 18 to 24 have been sexually harassed, while recent figures reveal that just 1.5 per cent of recorded rape cases lead to a charge.

Groups such as Sisters Uncut continue to lead the effort to make meaningful changes – in a recent interview with Dazed, the group outlined its steps to end male and state violence, including the necessity of increased funding for domestic and sexual abuse services, an end to austerity, and an overhaul of the criminal justice system.

Below, we’ve gathered some of the essential resources you can access, as well as a handful of organisations you can support in the fight against state violence.