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Farah Nazeer has devoted almost her entire career to women’s rights and gender issues. Here, as part of our collaboration with YSL Beauty and Women’s Aid, we feature the profile of the charity’s CEO…
Women’s Aid has been working to end violence against women and girls for almost 50 years. And now, due to the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, the work of charity is more fundamental than ever.
In fact, 61% of women who lived with their abuser during lockdown said the abuse had worsened and the number of reported incidents of abuse increased by 80,000. between 2020 and 2021.
In November 2020, when the virus was becoming more and more prevalent, YSL Beauty launched its abuse is not love campaign with Women’s Aid. The collaboration aims to combat intimate partner violence (IPV) through academic funding and education on the ‘9 signs’ of domestic abuse.
Then, as Covid restrictions were relaxed in March 2021, Farah Nazeer took over as CEO of the domestic abuse charity. Both the collaboration and Nazeer’s appointment have been instrumental in raising awareness of IPV among young people.
“Since joining Women’s Aid, I have been proud to work for an organization that keeps the voices of survivors at the center of its work,” explains Nazeer. “I am a feminist, passionate about women’s rights; I have worked on women’s rights and gender issues for most of my career, with more than 20 years in the voluntary sector.”
Nazeer continues: “At a time when increasing numbers of women are experiencing domestic abuse, the work of Women’s Aid and the need to champion women’s rights is as urgent as ever, and I am privileged to be a part of it. ”.
To highlight the work of YSL Beauty and Help for WomenWe are working with three of the charity’s ambassadors and supporters to highlight the signs of IPV. Alive Living, Phoenix Brown and Michelle Griffith-Robinson share their experiences in our latest digital cover to educate you about red flags.
Here we talk to Farah Nazeer about her work at Women’s Aid, women’s safety, and advice for those experiencing IPV and toxic relationships…
What do you do as CEO of Women’s Aid?
I run a national federation of just under 170 local domestic abuse organizations in England, which means no day looks the same at my job. My role at Women’s Aid is to highlight and represent the charity’s lifesaving domestic abuse campaign and services on behalf of survivors of abusive relationships. It’s a role I take incredibly seriously and feel privileged to do.
What is your top priority?
I want to move society from a place where abuse is tolerated to a place where it is totally intolerable. Right now, thanks to a culture of victim blaming, gender inequalities, and a lack of understanding of domestic abuse, survivors do not receive enough support, understanding, or see justice done. This must change.
We all have a responsibility to call sexism, misogyny Y gender violence – affects ourselves, friends, family, colleagues. The government must ensure that the police, judiciary and other public services receive regular training in domestic abuse and coercive control to truly understand the nature of abuse.
What is your best advice for someone who finds themselves in IPV situations?
I want to point out here that each case is different and there is no single path to safety. However, here are my recommendations:
- Contact specialized services, such as Women’s Aid’s live chat or the national helpline. Both are very good starting points for many women, although individual circumstances must be considered and women should do what is safest for them.
- Our website contains a wealth of information and support. Women’s Aid is here for anyone who wants to talk about their relationship, or that of a loved one, and get confidential, non-judgmental advice and support.
- Many women find support and advice through health services, such as their GP or midwife, while others go directly to the police. The main thing is to get help as quickly as possible, as safely as possible.
What will you never compromise on?
Prioritizing the safety of women. An average of three women every fortnight die at the hands of their current or former partners. We cannot sit idly by, we must do more. We will not stop campaigning, lobbying the government, challenging sexism and misogyny, and doing everything we can to amplify the voices of survivors, until all women and children are safe.
How is Women’s Aid leading in protecting women and girls?
We keep the voices of survivors at the center of everything we do and support them every day. Our current campaign deserves to be heardaims to ensure that women’s mental health needs are heard and responded to effectively, particularly those addressed by and for black and minority groups.
The key to our work is educating people about healthy relationships, how to spot the warning signs of abuse, and how to seek support. the Expect Respect Toolkit was developed with YSL Beauty and aims to create the foundation for lifelong healthy relationships and challenges assumptions about gender, power and equality.
When have you been most proud?
I am proud every day to be part of a feminist organization dedicated to serving and supporting survivors of domestic abuse. I continue to be amazed at the power of our federation to work together to bring about real change for women and child survivors. I am also a proud mom. I want to do everything I can to ensure that the world is a safer place for all of our children to grow up.
What is your best advice to friends and family of people experiencing IPV?
The key is to listen to her without judging her. When she feels comfortable enough to trust you, she lets her lead the conversation and don’t push too hard. Tell her that she is not alone and that she does not deserve to be treated that way. At this stage, encourage her to visit Women’s Aid when she is ready. While it’s good to make sure your loved one is safe, be sure to take care of yourself, too. Intimate partner violence affects friends and family in different ways.
Because it’s him abuse is not love collaboration so important?
It is not always easy for women and girls to understand that they are being abused. That’s why the campaign is so key to raising awareness and showing what an unhealthy relationship looks like. By promoting healthy relationships, we hope to give women and girls the confidence to pursue happy, healthy relationships and know how to get help if they find themselves in an unhealthy one.
Women’s Aid is dedicated to supporting IPV survivors. If you need help, make use of the charity. live chat and the Survivors Forum. You can also find the No Woman Rejected Project and the Survivor’s Handbook Useful. Suppose Respect is a prevention toolkit used to teach children and youth ages 4-18 about healthy relationships.