On the Greater London Authority Police and Crime Committee’s report on Violence Against Women and Girls, Niki Scordi, CEO at Advance, said:
“The committee calls for the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime to make efforts to understand why women and girls under-report violence to police, and calls on the Metropolitan Police to listen and learn from communities and organisations on what they want to see from the police.
“We agree this is important, but we already know the major drivers for why women and girls don’t report to the police – lack of trust, fear of the police, victim-blaming, a traumatic process through the criminal justice system, and little chance of a successful prosecution.
“Domestic abuse and sexual offences have increased compared to pre-pandemic levels across the capital – domestic abuse by 18.2 per cent and sexual offences by a staggering 30.1 per cent. This was accompanied by a national decrease in convictions for domestic abuse offences for the third year in a row and rape convictions continuing to hit historic lows.
“This is against the backdrop of the murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman, as well as findings from the Charing Cross Police station investigation, further undermining trust in the police. We need to see radical culture change across the service if trust is to be restored.
“We also agree that the Mayor must set clear and measurable VAWG targets and commit to holding the Met to account on rebuilding trust and confidence. Women and girls need action not more warm words. Recruitment of the next Met Commissioner must have, as a key appointment criteria, a clear commitment to ending VAWG in the capital.
“We recognise the continued investment in specialist services and demonstrable commitment of the Mayor to tackle violence against women and girls. However, given the sheer scale of this issue and the level of need across the capital, we strongly support the committee’s recommendation to commit funding to ensure that specialist support services are available and accessible for every woman and girl in London that needs them so that they are able to recover from the long-lasting and devastating impact of domestic abuse. So many survivors of violence and abuse rely on vital specialist support at times of crisis and in the longer-term – yet getting help can be a postcode lottery. We want to ensure that every woman and girl who experiences violence and abuse gets help when and where they need it.”
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For more information, please contact Lisa Jones, Press Manager at Advance
- Advance’s vision is a world in which women and children lead safe, equal, violence-free lives so that they can flourish and actively contribute to society. The charity works with women who experience domestic abuse to be safe and take control of their lives, and women who have committed crime or are at risk of offending to break the cycle.
- As well as providing direct support, Advance works with statutory services, government agencies and other women’s charities to ensure a holistic approach to the issues these women face.
- Women must be referred to Advance, via statutory services or the charity’s self-referral scheme. For more information about who Advance is able to support, please visit Get Help
- For facts and statistics about domestic abuse and women in the criminal justice system, as well as Advance’s work, please visit Our Impact