Ahead of the next general election, a coalition of 70 leading organisations working to end VAWG has published a joint manifesto calling on all political parties to adopt its priorities for ending this abuse.
The VAWG experts and specialist organisations have come together to set out their priorities for the next government, calling for a comprehensive, whole-society approach to tackling VAWG that looks beyond the criminal justice system and centres those who face the greatest barriers to support and protection.
- Defend our human rights and address the discrimination and inequalities which create barriers to support and safety for the most marginalised survivors.
- Sustainably fund the specialist VAWG sector, with a ring-fenced budget for services led “by and for” Black and minoritised women and girls.
- Put prevention at the heart of the response to VAWG: Challenging harmful social norms, supporting bystander interventions, holding perpetrators accountable and creating opportunities for behaviour change.
Given Women’s Aid’s recent findings which show that services delivered by specialist services are able to deliver savings of up to £23 billion a year for the public purse, the manifesto calls for a secure, national multi-year funding settlement for the specialist VAWG sector, that is accessible to these services.
Andrea Simon, Director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW), said:
“Violence against women and girls is one of the most urgent human rights violations we face as a society. We know that this abuse is entirely preventable and a different world is possible, and that the 2024 General Election can be a real turning point to create the change women and girls deserve to see.
We call on all political parties to listen to us as experts, specialist services and survivors, and to back up their commitments to ending VAWG with actions that are going to make a real difference. It is vital that work to end violence against women and girls gets right to the root of the issue, rather than waiting for harm to be done and forcing survivors into a criminal justice system that is failing them.”
Farah Nazeer, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“Being safe from violence and abuse is a basic human right, however, the heartbreaking reality remains that women and girls are still subject to these heinous crimes. Ahead of the general election, we are joining our sector colleagues in calling on all parties to make the safety of women and girls an absolute priority, ensuring that they can be safe regardless of their race, communication or other needs, residential status or any other possible factor that prevents them from accessing life-saving help.
It is vital that all parties not only make this a priority for the next government, but that they also take a whole-society view of the dangers facing women and girls. To create a world where abuse and violence against women and girls is intolerable, we must prioritise prevention as much as we do the criminal response, stopping perpetrators in their tracks, just as much as we work towards ensuring that survivors see justice being done.”