Responding to the announcement today (18 February) that the Prime Minister Theresa May will personally oversee revision of the laws and practice around domestic violence, the EVAW Coalition said:
“We welcome the Prime Minister’s announcement that there will be a probe into how law is working in response to domestic violence and the commitment to new legislation. High level leadership is also very welcome in an area where women are very disproportionately abused, and where sadly attitudes which minimise or make excuses for abuse are still common.
“The Prime Minister is right to highlight ongoing failures in the justice system, where for example very different rates of charging and successful prosecutions can be observed in different parts of the country.
“If as a society we want to go further than dealing with domestic violence through the police and courts after an assault as happened, we need to do a 360 review of all our public services and how we can improve the response in our schools, in GP surgeries and A&E departments, through social work, in housing and more. We all have a responsibility for creating zero tolerance of domestic violence, and sexual violence, harassment, forced marriage and abuse of children which are deeply related.
“And, we must ensure that the independent support services in our local communities – run by women who really understand the dynamics of abuse – are able to keep their helplines and refuges and other support open. They are the local experts on abuse, they save lives and are the key to building the community wide answer to this abuse.
“And if we are serious about preventing abuse, compulsory Sex and Relationships Education (SRE) in all schools is essential.
“The leadership shown today is commendable. We can end and prevent all forms of violence against women and girls if the political will is there.”