Plymouth Shooting Statement

Plymouth Shooting Statement

Plymouth Shooting Statement

Tabitha Morton, Deputy Leader of the Women's Equality Party.

First and foremost, our thoughts are with the victims, their families and loved ones, and all those impacted by the horrific situation in Plymouth. 

It is impossible to ignore reports on the links between the alleged shooter and far-right, misogynistic ideology. This extremism, cultivated online and enacted offline, is not an isolated incident. It is the same form of hatred that played a role in the deaths of Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, killed by a man who had been radicalised to attack women partially through far-right material. 

Violence against women and girls is a national threat. It is ‘legitimised’ through extremist political ideology that drives men to commit horrific acts of violence, and the victims are mostly women. Although men, women and children have tragically lost their lives in this case, is it important to recognise the motivations behind the perpetrators actions are deeply gendered, and spurred by a hatred of women. The damage it inflicts is indiscriminate as well as psychological, physical and specific. This is why violence against women must also be understood as a form of domestic terrorism - or we will fail to address the root causes.

We must go beyond the misleading idea that attacks like this are outliers and occur at random. We must recognise and address this in order for all forms of violence against women - including when it happens online - to be as much of a priority for police and government as the prevention of other forms of terrorism. 

Everyone deserves to live free from the fear of violence. Until our police and government truly commit to tackling violence against women and girls, and broadening their understanding of how it can manifest, nobody will.


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