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WEBCHAT GUIDELINES: 1. One question per member plus one follow-up. 2. Keep your question brief. 3. Don't moan if your question doesn't get answered. 4. Do be civil/polite. 5. If one topic or question threatens to overwhelm the webchat, MNHQ will usually ask for people to stop repeating the same question or point.

Webchat with Femicide Census co-founder Karen Ingala Smith, Wednesday March 4 at 1pm
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RowanMumsnet · 03/03/2020 12:34

Hello

We’re pleased to announce a webchat with Karen Ingala Smith on Wednesday 4 March at 1pm.

Karen is Chief Executive of nia, an East London charity providing services for women, girls and children who have been subjected to sexual and domestic violence, including prostitution. nia supports over 1000 women and girls in North East London face-to-face every year and as many through their helpline for East London Rape Crisis. Karen says: “As CEO, I have ensured that nia has maintained an undaunted feminist commitment to woman-centred service provision during an unfavourable economic and political climate. I have almost 30 years’ experience in the women’s sector encompassing frontline delivery, operational and strategic management and governance.”

Karen has been recording and commemorating UK women killed by men since 2012 in a campaign called Counting Dead Women. She is co-founder of The Femicide Census in partnership with Clarrie O’Callaghan, supported by Freshfields LLP and Deloitte LLP. Karen says: “The Femicide Census is a unique source of comprehensive information about women who have been killed in the UK and the men who have killed them. It enables analysis of men’s fatal violence against women with the aim of contributing to the increased awareness about the reality of that violence, a tool for research and policy, challenging impunity and state failure, and ultimately the reduction of the number of women harmed and harmed and killed by men.”

Karen is a doctoral candidate on men’s fatal violence against women at the University of Durham. She thought some of you might find it useful to know that she and her partner could not have children; she has written about coming to terms with that here.

Karen has also asked us to share the following with you:

“I'm very much looking forward to the webchat tomorrow and to discussing the Femicide Census, Counting Dead Women, men's violence against women with you and perhaps nia, the charity I work for/specialist women's services. I understand that there may also be some questions around transgender ideology and I'm happy to discuss that but hope that our main focus will be men's violence against women.”

“nia has a Prioritising Women policy. As an organisation we prioritise women and do not use the terms sex and gender interchangeably. It should not need saying, but in case it does, I believe in universal human rights. On a personal level, I refrain from using the terms transwoman or trans woman. For the purposes of the web chat I have agreed to use the term 'males who identify as trans women' for those to whom this term is applicable, should the need arise.”

Please do join the chat on Wednesday at 1pm or if you can’t make it, leave a question here in advance.

As always, please remember our guidelines - one question per user, follow-ups only if there’s time and most questions have been answered, and please keep it civil. Also if one topic is dominating a thread, mods might request that people don't continue to post what's effectively the same question or point. (We may suspend the accounts of anyone who continues after we've posted to ask people to stop, so please take note.) Rest assured we will ALWAYS let the guest know that it's an area of concern to multiple users and will encourage them to engage with those questions.

Many thanks,
MNHQ

Webchat with Femicide Census co-founder Karen Ingala Smith, Wednesday March 4 at 1pm
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Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 03/03/2020 13:24

Thank you, Karen, for all you do. The world could do with a lot more Karen Ingala Smiths! Flowers

My question is: Are things worse or better for women now than they were when you first started your career in the women's sector?

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littlbrowndog · 03/03/2020 13:27

Karen no questions just much admiration for you 🥰🥰🥰

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picklemewalnuts · 03/03/2020 13:28

No particular question, just an overwhelming need to say thank you! People like you, and the women in the FWR, have opened my eyes.

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ScrimshawTheSecond · 03/03/2020 13:29

Karen, thank you for all your work. Much respect.

I would like to ask what you think the roots of male violence are and what could be done to stop it? I appreciate that's a bit of an enormous question, but I'd love to hear your thoughts.

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ohfourfoxache · 03/03/2020 13:31

Karen thank you so much for all you do. You’ve changed the lives of a lot of people and I hope you know what a difference you’ve made.

In your opinion, what is the best thing to say to someone to make them really stop and think and hopefully realise that they are in an abusive situation?

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SparklingLime · 03/03/2020 13:51

Thank you for up fabulous work and loveliness, Karen (we’ve interacted on twitter).

Can I ask how you manage to do this work without going under? I am in awe of your resilience. Is vicarious trauma something you experience, and how do you deal with it?

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Newuser123123 · 03/03/2020 13:54

Hi Karen,

How can we help?

Thanks

Anna from Warwickshire x

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LonnyVonnyWilsonFrickett · 03/03/2020 14:05

Hi Karen

Here on MN, we often see posts from women who are in abusive relationships but either don't or can't recognise it, or feel powerless to leave. What's the best advice we can give them?

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ClitoriaTernatea · 03/03/2020 15:27

Hi @RowanMumsnet do you think this could be stickied on FWR, as there'll be a lot of interest in this webchat and it's very short notice so would be a shame for women to miss the chance to ask Karen questions.

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BoucleEponine · 03/03/2020 16:18

Hello Karen

I've been lucky enough to have a kind dad, a kind brother and a kind husband of 30 years. However, I fear for my teenage daughter in the future. What are the "red flags" that a boy or man might become violent towards his partner? And what is the best way for a female to extricate herself from that kind of relationship?

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GloGirl · 03/03/2020 16:21

I was in awe when I read your story recently - about the work that you do and the thought that no one cared before you began.

What's the one thing each of us Mumsnetters could do to help the numbers of the count come down?

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Clymene · 03/03/2020 16:23

What can we do better raising boys?

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EnormousDormouse · 03/03/2020 16:34

Thank you Karen.

What do you find is the most frustrating type of response to your work?

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SleepDeprivedElf · 03/03/2020 16:48

Thank you for counting.

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Xiaoxiong · 03/03/2020 17:08

I spend a lot of time around school aged boys, and have 2 sons of my own. They are open to learning about feminism, the patriarchy, rape culture etc but can defensive and despondent when male violence is discussed and I know many worry they will be tarred unfairly with the same brush, NAMALT etc and in my experience this sometimes opens them up to some toxic men's rights stuff online.

How can we educate our sons and young men without making them defensive and possibly becoming in denial about the problem? ("Well I'm not violent, I'd never do that, it's not a problem with men etc")

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R0wantrees · 03/03/2020 17:10

Karen
Thank you for doing this webchat.

In her 2017 speech Dr Julia Long (who I understand is a researcher for the femicide census) talks of the importance of naming male violence within the context of feminist theory & history.

transcription by pencilsinspace pastebin.com/nGwr3i4U

From a solely Safeguarding/ Child Protection perspective, in your experience from working for NIA, what impacts do professionals working to support and protect women & children at risk of male violence witness when they are unable to 'identify men as men' and/or make clear the risks are sex-based?
What do you think needs to happen to mitigate this risk?

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Campervan69 · 03/03/2020 17:11

Hi Karen I love your work and often use your statistics to prove a point when arguing with people. Can I ask how you think this current conflation of sex and gender will affect crime statistics? If anyone born male can self identify themselves as a woman then surely this is going to mean that woman's crime rates are going to soar? How do you think this will affect your work and what do you think could be done to solve this problem?

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Callmejudith · 03/03/2020 17:22

Karen I think you are wonderful.

I have two young boys and am terrified about the misogynistic world they inhabit. How can we raise our boys to not continue the cycle?

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Iflyaway · 03/03/2020 17:29

Fantastic!

Thanks Mumsnet and Karen. This is such important work. Bless you for what you do.

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LilyMumsnet · 03/03/2020 17:30

@ClitoriaTernatea

Hi *@RowanMumsnet* do you think this could be stickied on FWR, as there'll be a lot of interest in this webchat and it's very short notice so would be a shame for women to miss the chance to ask Karen questions.


We've done this now. Smile
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R0wantrees · 03/03/2020 17:32

Thank you Lily.

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MrsSnippyPants · 03/03/2020 17:38

Thank you so much for your work, you have my undying admiration.

You gave evidence to the Women and Equalities Select Committee last July and said what so many women concerned about sex self-ID have been saying: women need single sex services and organisations need clear guidance on what the law says.

I believe the conclusion was the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) should provide it. Has there been any progress on this, and will you continue to press the government to make the law clear?

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thereisfreedomwithin · 03/03/2020 17:43

thank you

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NeurotrashWarrior · 03/03/2020 17:43

Hi Karen,

Another admirer! Thank you for all that you do.

What specific points would you like to be taught in schools that goes a good way to helping to avoid having to count more dead women?

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Ereshkigalangcleg · 03/03/2020 17:48

Thanks Karen and Mumsnet for doing this. We met once after a meeting, I wasn't very articulate as I was fangirling! Thanks

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