Responding to the Government’s announcement today (7 December) of new anti-stalking measures, End Violence Against Women Coalition Co-Director Sarah Green said:
“We welcome the Government’s move to protect women from stalkers – the new provisions are a useful addition to the toolkit. But, our members have raised concerns as to why strangers who stalk and breech this order will face criminal sanctions, while there is still no provision for breeches of domestic violence protection orders. This gap in protection puts women at risk as perpetrators of domestic violence continue to be a threat and excerpt control over them.”
Regarding the Home Office’ announcement of significant new funding and new guidelines for how local authorities, Police and Crime Commissioners and other agencies including health, should spend money related to supporting women and girls at risk, Sarah Green added:
“The new ‘Transformation Fund’ is to be an important part of the funding for women’s support services. It is vital that there is funding to support local specialist services which provide life support for women escaping from abusive relationships, experiencing sexual violence, being subjected to so-called ‘honour based violence’ or forced marriage or coming to terms with abuse as a child. Many of the specialist services women rely on have long waiting lists, have been forced to turn women away and have struggled to stay open as funding has diminished.
“We hope that the ‘National Statement of Expectations’ which accompanies the new Fund will result in real changes to the way services are funded. There is a huge level and variety of need including Black and Minority Ethnic women, young women, older women, women who experienced violence a long time ago and those who need emergency help today. Specialist services understand and innovate to meet the needs of these women and girls. This is the best practice which the National Statement of Expectations should be promoting and which the Government should be protecting.”
Sarah Green continued:
“Today also the #FemicideCensus releases extremely powerful statistics and stories about the nearly 1,000 women who have been killed by men in Britain since 2009, making it a leading cause of premature death for women.
“This authoritative and incredibly moving and humanising piece of work should shock every reader and remind everyone who responds to abuse on the frontline – as police officers, in housing bodies, health workers, in schools – and everyone charged with funding support services, that real women and girls, and their whole families and friends networks, are being devastated by the failure to prevent men killing women.
“No good society should tolerate this. We hope the #FemicideCensus provides the mirror that is needed for us to really perceive what is happening. We commend Karen Ingala Smith for her tireless work on it and Women’s Aid and law firms Freshfields and Deloitte for their support of it.”