Imkaan, the End Violence Against Women Coalition and Women’s Aid Federation of England have developed a set of Joint Principles for the next VAWG strategy, which are supported by many other specialist VAWG sector organisations. The Government has published a Call for Evidence for the next VAWG Strategy for 2021-2024.
These principles set out a bold vision for ensuring a joined-up response to VAWG which is grounded in the reality of women and girls lives. They address some of the key concerns the sector has with the government’s proposed approach – including the decision to de-link domestic abuse from other forms of VAWG.
These asks are based on long-standing calls from the VAWG sector to Government and they are rooted in the analysis and recommendations of Imkaan’s Alternative Bill, which outlined a comprehensive gendered and intersectional approach to addressing VAWG.
Recommendations relate to several key areas including:
- A definition of Violence Against Women and Girls which upholds the established international and human rights-based definitions of VAWG, and delivers an integrated approach to tackling VAWG in all its forms
- A commitment to ensuring equal protection for all women in accessing their rights
- A VAWG strategy that tackles the systemic barriers that prevent Black and minoritised women, migrant women, deaf and disabled women, LGBT+ women from receiving protection and support
- Embedding prevention and early intervention throughout the VAWG Strategy
- Supporting the sustainable and equitable provision of ‘by and for’ specialist services
- Providing secure, national multi-year funding settlement for the specialist VAWG sector
- Recognition of the importance of partnerships and multi-agency working
- A focus on prevention and quality assured perpetrator interventions
The joint principles document can be submitted by individuals or organisations that want to show support for them, or they can be used in addition to your own response to the government’s call for evidence on the VAWG Strategy which closes on 19 February. There is an online survey for the general public and written submissions from those with an interest or expertise on VAWG can be emailed to: VAWGStrategy2021@homeoffice.gov.uk
EVAW Director Andrea Simon said,
“A renewed VAWG Strategy can make a real difference to the lives of all survivors and is an opportunity to drive ambitious policymaking to prevent abuse happening in the first place. It should reflect all the ways women’s and girls’ lives are affected by different forms of abuse and ensure the state and community response is coordinated.
Any decision to pursue separate strategies for domestic abuse and VAWG risks further marginalising women who experience multiple and intersecting forms of violence and oppression. We need an ambitious and transformative strategy to tackle VAWG in society which works for all survivors, regardless of their race, ethnic or religious group, migrant or refugee status, sexuality, disability or other identities.“