Greenock Telegraph 11th February 2022

Recently, two high profile cases have once again shone a light on men’s violence against women and in particular sexual violence. At the root cause of this is a growing feeling of entitlement in men to abuse women physically, psychologically and sexually. Young men and boys are being exposed to harmful sexual content, often illegal, on the internet and it is normalising certain acts to the point where they are not recognised as abuse. Young women are being subjected to choking, spitting, bruising and often feel the need to accept it to feel worth. Young men see this as the norm and therefore see it as their entitlement. The UK is the second highest consumer of pornography in the world. If we are to break this cycle, then men need to take responsibility. We can’t turn a blind eye to fact that women and girls are being trafficked, raped, and abused for entertainment. Men are the consumers. Fifty percent of boys aged 11 to 13 and 66% of boys aged 14 to 15 have accessed online pornography. The impact of this is that they experience increased stress and dissatisfaction. The outcome is sexism, misogynism and sexual aggression. We need to be able to provide the appropriate level of education at different age groups and encourage young men to take responsibility for their actions. We cannot pretend the problem doesn’t exist. In my capacity as an M.P. I shall be looking to improve the digital Online Safety Bill and support Baroness Kidron’s Age Assurance Bill. Along with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Sexual Exploitation, I shall be looking to expand the definition of harmful content. And as a man I shall always speak out against men’s violence against woman in whatever form that takes.