I was the one still carrying the shame, the isolation, and now the burning injustice. He would walk free, with nothing against his name.
Alongside four other survivors contesting different seats, I will stand for election against a man who has faced accusations of violence but has been allowed to stand again in his constituency despite the potential risk posed to vulnerable members of the public and to Westminster staff.
Allowing men accused of assault or harassment to hold an elected position sends a dangerous message: that violence is inevitable, that assault and harassment against women and girls doesn’t matter, and that men in power will always get away with it. We believe this is wrong, so we are standing to hold these men to account at the ballot box.
I will be standing in City of London and Westminster against Conservative MP Mark Field, who was caught on camera grabbing a peaceful protestor by the neck at a dinner event. Theresa May suspended him but new Prime Minister Boris Johnson, faced with a dwindling majority, dropped an investigation into Field’s behaviour because it was politically expedient for him to do so.
Field has been allowed to vote on legislation that impacts the protection afforded to women and girls, including the Gemma White Report into complaints of assault and harassment made by staff in Westminster. He has also been allowed to vote on issues like a no-deal Brexit which will harm women further still.
Allowing men accused of assault or harassment to hold an elected position sends a dangerous message: that violence is inevitable, that assault and harassment against women and girls doesn’t matter.
I have already started negotiations with the Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party who are also contesting Field’s seat in Westminster. If they accept WEP’s red line policies, I will stand down and use the very active membership we have in London to help them campaign and win.
Firstly, we want the Recall Act 2015 to be amended so that if an MP is found guilty by an independent body of assault or harassment, their constituents have the right to sack them and choose someone else.
We also want parties to commit to the better funding of domestic violence and rape services.
Mostly though, we want Field and those like him removed from positions of power if they are violent or abusive. If we are ever to tackle the crisis that has seen 173 women killed at the hands of their partners over the last year, and more than 85,000 women raped, we must have a zero tolerance approach to violence – and that must start in Westminster.
All we ask of you is that you share this message, consider our position and stand with us, side by side, to grant those who have suffered from male violence the justice they so desperately deserve.