Gender-based violence, culture and mental health

Welcome to the 66th episode of the Diverse Minds Podcast. This week we are talking about the 16 Days of Action against gender-based violence. Talking about sexual violence at work can feel like a big taboo subject. However, we do need to have conversations in the workplace. This is to ensure everyone can recognise and support employees who are experience domestic and sexual violence. 

To join me in talking about gender-based violence for the 16 Days of Action and more is Mani Hayre.

Listen to the episode

About my guest

Mani is a freelance ghostwriter. She set up her own business writing books for others to share their stories. Mani is a northerner now living in the Midlands, where she has lived for the past three years. 

Mani is very vocal about issues that South Asian women face in the community. Having had an arranged marriage herself and experiencing sexual abuse and depression she’s open candid about her journey.

She is now a Trustee for RSVP (Rape and Sexual Violence Project) in Birmingham as well as a newly appointed committee member for the Asian Business Chamber of Commerce, where she worked up until a year ago. 

The last eight months have been a real rollercoaster, getting made redundant, landing another job during a pandemic, quitting that job to write full time and then being offered a role with Solihull Council helping high street retailers through the crisis.

It’s certainly not been a boring three years!

In today’s show, on gender-based violence and culture we talk:

  • About Mani’s writing business and how she started it. [04:14]
  • What the 16 Days of Action mean to Mani as a South Asian Woman. [05:46]
  • Her thoughts on how the 16 Days of Action can kickstart people into taking action. [09:41]
  • How she became a trustee for RSVP and the benefits of getting involved. [14:56]
  • What Mani does to look after her mental health [33:44]

Statistics related to gender-based violence

  • 1 in 4 women are affected by domestic violence during their adult lifetimes.
  • 58% of women experiencing abuse miss at least 3 days of work/month.
  • 2% of women will lose their jobs.
  • 5% of men experienced domestic violence in England and Wales last year.
  • 75% of people who experience domestic violence will be targeted at work. 
  • The annual costs to companies is thought to be around £2billion.


  • I’ve been very open about my own journey, from when I was married, and going through marital rape to now.
  • I’ve had a very turbulent time, with triggers over the last three years with stuff that I buried for a good decade that came to the surface.
  • I do think this 16 Days of Activism is a step towards talking about it publicly and highlighting real issues that people face.
  • RSVP is a rape and sexual violence project and a local charity in Birmingham City Centre that I’m a trustee of.
  • If you don’t use the language for something that’s been done, then you’re always just walking on eggshells and talking around the issue as opposed to dealing with it head-on. 

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