Plans to tackle violence against women and girls were launched by the Home Secretary today.
The ‘Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls - Action Plan’ was published alongside the government’s response to Baroness Stern’s review into the handling of rape complaints.
Today marks the 100th anniversary of International Women’s Day.
Key actions from the plan include:
- making data on regional levels of violence against women - including domestic abuse, sexual assault and stalking - more accessible to ensure resources are targeted to where they are most needed
- new research aimed at countering the myth that false allegations of rape are common and an independent consultation on the measurement of rape conviction rates
- a new national stalking group to support the work of the Association of Chief Police Officers and the Crown Prosecution Service in improving the police response to stalking and ensuring robust prosecutions
- campaigns to raise awareness of the law around sexual offences and challenge attitudes of abuse within teenage relationships
- more training for key frontline professionals - including doctors, nurses, health visitors - on identifying and dealing with violence against women; and
- sustainable central funding for frontline services including rape crisis centres and Independent Domestic Violence Advisors, and four years of funding for the National Domestic Violence Helpline
Home Secretary quote
Home Secretary Theresa May said: ’International Women’s Day is an excellent opportunity to highlight the many ways women are making a positive impact in this country and around the world. However more needs to be done to ensure that we provide the best possible start for future generations.
‘I want to see an end to all forms of violence against women and girls. Our comprehensive and detailed action plan sets out how we are going to tackle these crimes - supporting those at risk, helping victims and ensuring offenders are brought to justice.
‘Most importantly we need to prevent these crimes occurring in the first place. That is why we are challenging and where necessary working to change, attitudes and behaviours.’
Baroness Stern said: ‘I welcome the government’s response to the recommendations in my report. Particularly in a time of financial stringency it is good that the government recognises the importance of a specialist and supportive response to rape victims.’
The detailed action plan follows the Home Office’s announcement of £28 million of funding until 2015 for tackling violence against women and girls and the Ministry of Justice announcement of more than £10.5 million of funding for three years for rape crisis services.
The action plans focuses on four key areas: the prevention of violence including reducing repeat victimisation, the provision of support, the bringing together of groups to work in partnership and action to reduce risk by ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice.
Notes to editors
1. To view the ‘Call to End Violence Against Women and Girls - Action Plan’ and the government response to the Stern Review visit the violence against women and girls pages of this website.
2. Baroness Stern was commissioned in 2009 to conduct an independent review into how rape complaints are handled by public authorities. She was asked to consider how to encourage more victims to report rape, how to improve the response of the criminal justice system, the conviction rate, and how to build confidence and satisfaction in the handling of rape cases.
3. The British Crime Survey reports that every year more than one million women experience domestic abuse and one in four women will be affected by domestic abuse. More than 300,000 women are sexually assaulted and 60,000 women raped; and more than one in twenty women will be stalked.