Conservatives pledge ‘better protection for women and girls’

The Conservative Party have pledged better protection for women and girls as candidates roll out their manifestos this week. 

The party praised the UK’s ‘brave’ police force, and have promised safer streets for Britain with a focus on the safety of women and girls against sex attacks. They say that under the Tory government crime has ‘fallen by 44 per cent’ alongside a 30% decline in re-offending.

Their manifesto states that they aim to ‘give every neighbourhood an additional police officer by recruiting 8,000 more police officers to patrol communities and catch criminals in every ward in the country’. Violence against women and girls are to be taken ‘as seriously as terrorism and child abuse for the first time’, as the party vows to legislate harsher laws for drink spiking and support victims of domestic abuse. Before the snap election was announced last month, legislation was passed to impose harsher sentences on those creating deepfake pornographic images both online and for personal use after reforms to the online safety act. 

In the manifesto a new law to impose 25-year prison terms for domestic violence murders and changes to sentencing for those who kill their domestic abusers using a review of homicide sentencing.

After the tragic Grace Millane death, prompts to tighten punishment for those who use the ‘rough sex’ defence are mentioned in the document – with the Tories stating: ‘We will introduce an aggravating factor for murders that happen in the context of ‘rough sex’, so it is never used as an excuse to get a lighter sentence.’

Earlier this year anew statutory aggravating factor was brought in for offenders who cause death through abusive, degrading or dangerous sexual behaviour earlier this month. Discounting the so-called ‘rough sex’ defence – which means that judges are handing out harsher sentences than ever before.

In 2021, then Foreign Secretary and South West Norfolk MP candidate Liz Truss announced that women and girls would be at the centre of her foreign policy priorities, which procured more than £20 million of new funding to help stop violence against women and girls around the world. During her campaign as a PM hopeful the MP promised to crack down on violence against women and girls, by introducing a standalone offence to criminalise street harassment and a national domestic abuse register. A recent opinion column by Nimco Ali for The Independent said the MP is ‘the woman who once stood with me against FGM and took Christopher Chope to task when he objected to legislation that would protect girls at risk of FGM’.

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