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Crimes of Violence: Women

Question for Home Office

UIN 45047, tabled on 2 September 2022

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what recent steps her Department has taken to help tackle the root causes of violence against women and girls.

Answered on

6 September 2022

Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a government priority. VAWG is an unacceptable, preventable issue which blights the lives of millions.

One year on from the publication of the Tackling VAWG Strategy, we have made significant progress and delivered a number of key commitments to help ensure that women and girls are safe everywhere - at home, online, at work and in public spaces. This includes action to tackle the causes of these crimes. We have:

o supported the introduction of a new full-time National Policing Lead for VAWG, DCC Maggie Blyth, to help strengthen the police response;

o ratified the Istanbul Convention on 21 July 2022, demonstrating to women in the UK and to our partners overseas our commitment to tackling VAWG;

o launched the first phase of our national communications campaign, ‘Enough’, to challenge the harmful behaviours that exist within wider society, educate young people about healthy relationships and consent, and ensure victims can recognise abuse and receive support;

o announced that we will add VAWG to the Strategic Policing Requirement meaning it will be set out as a national threat for forces to respond to alongside other threats such as terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse;

o allocated £55 million to communities through the Safer Streets Fund and Safety of Women at Night Fund, including for extra CCTV, streetlighting and work to change attitudes and work to preventing VAWG in public spaces at night;

o published a refreshed National Statement of Expectations and accompanying VAWG Commissioning Toolkit to outline the activity that local areas should undertake to ensure victims and survivors of VAWG get the help and support they need;

o criminalised virginity testing, to send a clear message that this practice is wholly unacceptable in our society;

o appointed joint Transport Champions to help make public transport safer for women and girls; and

o piloted a tool, StreetSafe, which enables the public to anonymously report areas where they feel unsafe.

In addition, in May 2022, the Home Office launched a competition on What Works to prevent violence against women and girls. This will provide multi-year funding to providers and be accompanied by extensive evaluation to increase our understanding of what works.

Answered by

Home Office