I Can Be She in Parliament

Young People's Question Time in Parliament - View photos here and read the press release.

You can listen to highlights from the event, including sound bites ondomestic violence, the case for Sex and Relationships Education (SRE),forced marriagefemale genital mutilation (FGM), and a positive message for young men.

Young people from across London went to Parliament to discuss violence against women in a Question Time-style event on the 7th February, in collaboration with schools and colleges in Walthamstow, Southwark and Lewisham. The event, hosted by Stella Creasy MP as part of the global One Billion Rising campaign, enabled frank and open debate with a panel of practitioners and decision makers.

Maslaha brought together 50 young people aged 14-21 from different London boroughs with an expert panel, including representatives from the Crown Prosecution Service, the police, Greater London Assembly, women’s refuges and support services, and voluntary sector grassroots organisations. The event provided a space to raise awareness, open debate and offer young people the chance to directly engage with decision makers, and for decision makers to hear the perspectives of young people. 

Topics discussed included young people’s attitudes towards violence in relationships as well as issues of particular relevance to BME communities, such as forced marriage and FGM. 


NEWSFLASH: Read BBC London coverage here, and listen to the broadcast on BBC Asian Network here.

The panel: 

  • Yvonne Roberts - Leader writer, Observer (panel chair)
  • Chaz Akoshile - Joint Head, Forced Marriage Unit
  • Jo Sharpen - Children and Young People's Coordinator, AVA Project
  • Stella Creasy MP - Shadow Minister for Crime Prevention
  • Khola Hasan - Director, Albatross Consulting Ltd (human rights research & outreach)
  • Jenny Hopkins - Deputy Chief Crown Prosecutor, Crown Prosecution Service
  • Leyla Hussein - Director, Daughters of Eve
  • Rebecca Palmer - Strategic Development Officer for Children and Young People's Participation, Greater London Authority
  • DCI Mark Rochester - Public Protection, Borough of Enfield Police



  • Support services: You can find our more about domestic violence and available support services here.
  • Education resources: Maslaha has produced a teacher guide to prepare attending pupils for the event, which incorporates Women's Aid Expect Respect lesson plans. The guide has continued use above and beyond the event itself, and we would encourage all teachers to have a look and begin addressing the issues as part of the existing curriculum.
  • One Billion Rising was on the 14th of February and thousands of people rose worldwide. Find out more here.


Domestic violence in the UK today

There is a high tolerance for accepting or condoning violence in relationships, amongst young and old alike.

  • One in two young men and one in three young women believed there to be some circumstances where it is acceptable to hit a women or force her to have sex (Zero Tolerance report 1998)
  • Almost half of teenage girls thought it acceptable for a boyfriend to be aggressive towards his partner (NSPCC/Sugar survey, 2005)
  • A third of teenage girls in relationships had experienced unwanted sexual acts, with one in 16 having been raped (NSPCC/University of Bristol report, 2009)
  • For more facts, see http://maslaha.org/obr/facts-statistics
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