Wednesday, 25 November 2009

EVAW Coalition urges funding for women's services to deliver government violence against women strategy

The End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) warmly welcomes today’s announcement of a cross-government strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women including rape, domestic violence, trafficking and forced marriage. It sees this as a vital step towards the government fulfilling its human rights obligations and ending abuse of women and girls. All main political parties support a strategy, as does the Equality and Human Rights Commission.

But the Coalition warns that the strategy will only be effective if properly resourced and women will judge the strategy in terms of its impact on frontline women’s services. Women consulted for the strategy told the government they not only needed these services, but that, in some instances, they had literally saved their lives.

Professor Liz Kelly, EVAW Chair, said:

“Hundreds of thousands of women are affected by violence each year and the vast majority do not report to the police or disclose to health services. For too long there has been a fractured approach with key government departments, such as education and health, failing to meet their responsibilities. So we warmly welcome the government’s commitment to a more joined up approach that focuses on stopping violence and abuse of women and girls before it starts.

However, we know that women still face a postcode lottery when seeking support and much funding for existing services, such as rape crisis centres, refuges and services for ethnic minority women, is increasingly fragile. Women across the country will be dismayed if the strategy does not include a coherent plan for secure and sustainable funding for vital frontline women’s services”

The EVAW coalition says the strategy must;

• Join up policies and services across government at national and local levels, including on health, education and immigration.

• Stop violence and abuse of women in the first place through campaigns to change attitudes and work with young people in schools, rather than just picking up the pieces afterwards through the courts and criminal justice system.

• Guarantee adequate resources to deliver the strategy, particularly
funding for frontline women’s services that support victims, such asrefuges, rape crisis centres and services for ethnic minority women, many of which are threatened with closure.


At 10 July 2010 at 18:27 , Anonymous Mark Simmons said...

I welcome your efforts to get the government to fund a violence against women strategy. However, the government also needs to regulate and/or criticise films and TV programmes that use violence against women to entertain. Writers regularly write scenes involving extreme violence against women in to their scripts and I am beginning to wonder if this is because some men are turned on by this. I saw one drama on BBC2 where a woman had her teeth smashed out with a hammer. An episode of Spooks had a woman's head shoved in boiling liquid. The film The Killer Inside Me shows greater violence committed against the women than the male characters.
We have recently witnessed state sanctioned misogyny in the case where a woman faces stoning in Iran (criticised by our government). I believe that misogyny and violence against women is treated as acceptable in our society if it is fiction. I also believe that state or culturally sanctioned violence such as stoning, and a woman being beaten to death in a feature film, both occur because certain (depraved) men are turned on by this i.e. helpless women being subjected to sickening violence. To see how far this has gone, look at I hope you can make this link in your future work, or is it more complex than that?
Mark Simmons.


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