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Violence against women

Mumsnet users care deeply about the safety of women and girls, and our users have consistently advocated for better provision for women experiencing abuse, and more education for children about what good relationships look like. 

By Mumsnet HQ | Last updated Sep 24, 2021

Woman holding up hand in 'no' or 'stop' gesture

They also walk the walk, helping each other to identify abusive patterns in relationships and supporting women who are experiencing violence or coercive control. Over the years we’ve heard from hundreds of Mumsnet users who tell us that our forums were instrumental in giving them the information and support they needed to build new lives for themselves and their children. (Based on an analysis of posts on Mumsnet, we estimate that around 6000 women have been supported to leave abusive relationships in the last three years.)

I am a long time member, and over ten years ago now it was Mumsnet that helped me in my darkest hours. I was a victim of domestic abuse and it was reading threads on Mumsnet that made me realise what was happening to me. Members supported me through one dreadful night too. Fortunately life is very different now.

One of Mumsnet’s first big public-facing campaigns was We Believe You, which aimed to address rape myths. It made a big splash, going viral on social media and getting big coverage in the media, and led directly to a webchat with the-then Director of Public Prosecutions, Keir Starmer.

MYTH: Women often lie about rape

REALITY:  There is no evidence that false allegations of rape are more common than false allegations of other crimes

More recently we partnered with Surrey Police and Women’s Aid on a campaign to highlight what’s meant by ‘coercive control’, and to support women who want to leave relationships in which they feel they’re constantly walking on eggshells. 

Almost 4 in 10 Mumsnet users say they have been in a controlling or abusive relationship

In 2019 we partnered with We Can’t Consent To This to help to end the ‘rough sex defence’, making it more difficult for men to claim they killed a woman ‘by accident’ as a result of ‘rough sex gone wrong’. We Can’t Consent To This was set up by a Mumsnet user, Fiona Mackenzie.

I am so so glad that Mumsnet users gave their support to this campaign – Mumsnet is such a powerful campaigning force, and this campaign began right here. ~ Fiona Mackenzie

Over the years we’ve had the honour of giving space to a huge array of women and campaigning organisations working on this critical issue; read on to see some of our most recent Guest Posts about violence against women.

‘It’s not too late to help Afghan women and girls’ (August 2021)

‘Why we will not be celebrating the Domestic Abuse Bill just yet’ (April 2021)

‘Mumsnet was the first safe place I had - now I’m campaigning to end forced marriage’ (March 2021)

‘Whether you were assaulted yesterday or years ago it can leave you frightened and overwhelmed’ (February 2021)

‘Time to scrap the £150 fee for victims of domestic abuse’ (January 2021)

‘60 British women have been killed in violence claimed to be consensual’ (June 2020)