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EVAW Bulletin, Summer 2015
- EVAW asks Labour Leader candidates what they will do to end abuse of women and girls
- EVAW welcomes CPS annual report on VAWG
- SRE debated again in Parliament as evidence for its need mounts
- Amnesty draft policy to decriminalise the sex industry sees renewed challenge
EVAW asks Labour Leader candidates what they will do to end VAWG
EVAW has written to Labour Party Leader candidates Andy Burnham, Yvette Cooper, Jeremy Corbyn and Liz Kendall, asking them to set out their commitments to tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG). The letters refer to the strong pledges Labour made in its May 2015 general election manifesto and specifically ask the candidates if they will: maintain a Shadow Minister to hold the Government to account on ending violence against women and girls; remain committed to compulsory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in all schools as a principal way of preventing abuse; ensure that women-led independent support services in the community, such as refuges, helplines, and BME women’s services, remain open and viable.
Letters have also been sent to Labour Deputy Leader candidates, and to London Mayor hopefuls in the Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat and Green Parties.
EVAW welcomes CPS annual report on VAWG
EVAW has welcomed the publication of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) annual report on Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) which showed significantly increased volumes of prosecutions and convictions of many forms of violence against women. In response to such high volumes of reporting to police, EVAW reiterated the vital need for sustainable support services, highlighting the fact that the majority of survivors do not report to the police.
In response to some criticism of the CPS report’s focus on crime against women and girls, Director of Public Prosecutions Alison Saunders wrote in the Guardian on the highly gendered nature of abuse which requires a VAWG framework.
SRE debated again in Parliament as evidence for its need mounts
As increases in police recording of so-called ‘revenge’ pornography hit the headlines, and a new report from Equality Now exposed that no local authority in England and Wales is likely to be free from FGM, July saw further evidence of the need for compulsory Sex and Relationships Education in schools as a principal way of detecting and preventing abuse. Caroline Lucas MP spoke in Parliament at the reading of her Bill to bring this about. Reflecting the widespread Parliamentary support for such a measure, the vote following the debate saw Lucas win 183 to 44 votes.
Also in Parliament this month, Home Secretary Theresa May was questioned on the Government’s response to the UN Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women’s expert report; and the new Women and Equalities committee and House of Lords Sexual Violence in Conflict committee started work, all promising a high profile in Parliament for violence against women and girls lies ahead.
Amnesty International draft policy to decriminalise the sex industry sees renewed challenge
Also this month, EVAW welcomed renewed challenge to Amnesty International's draft policy to decriminalise the ‘buying’ as well as the ‘selling’ of sex as the organisation looks to discuss the policy at their International Council Meeting in early August. EVAW responded to the draft policy when it first hit the news back in early 2014 and welcomes the renewed criticism.
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For more information about EVAW see www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk