Women demand better, now more than ever. The public demand better, following the murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman and the thousands of testimonials of abuse by young women and girls on social media.
We welcome the government’s new VAWG strategy (read here) focusing on prevention, support for survivors, holding perpetrators to account and stronger systems.
With 1 in 4 women and girls experiencing violence and abuse in their lifetime, we must go further. To achieve the Strategy’s vision for ‘radical’ reform, government must ensure that every survivor, woman and child,
- receives the vital community support they need to be safe and services are fully funded to provide the support needed. We call for long-term sustainable investment of at least £400m a year, with the cost of violence against women estimated to be £66bn a year in the UK.
- has access to mental health and long-term support, enabling them to recover from the abuse and trauma and rebuild their lives. We call for a joint-up and sustained response across the whole system, including health, social care, housing and criminal justice agencies.
- is able to lead safe, violence-free and equal lives, by preventing abuse from the start, and tackling systemic inequality and the attitudes that drive and normalise the abuse of women and girls.
We urge the Government to ensure that the VAWG strategy’s commitments are delivered with the urgency that women and girls deserve.
No-one should be left behind. Women demand better.
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