Women’s Aid’s manifesto for the 2024 general election calls for the national prioritisation of domestic abuse and other forms of VAWG, and for political parties to pledge their commitment to their three key pillars for change:
INVEST to save: fund specialist women’s services to save lives and money
Investment in specialist domestic abuse services, including those led “by and for” the most marginalised women, could not only help the next government to save almost 4 billion pounds, but will also save lives.
SUPPORT survivors: deliver the right response the first time
Even before the start of a survivor’s journey to safety, they need to know that no matter where they turn, they will be supported and protected – whether that be with their mental health, supporting their children’s wellbeing, accessing emergency funds, or securing housing.
PREVENT abuse: transform societal attitudes and understanding
Attitudes which enable and excuse domestic abuse to continue are still worryingly prevalent in the United Kingdom. To end domestic abuse, it is vital that we raise awareness and improve understanding of the causes, and to change attitudes to ensure we achieve a world where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.
Domestic abuse is an epidemic in our society – an estimated 1.7 million women experienced domestic abuse in England and Wales in the year ending March 20224 . With only around one in five survivors reporting their experiences to the police , the response needs to extend beyond the criminal justice system. Yet the experiences of survivors and Women’s Aid’s member services show that there is currently no sufficiently joined-up response to domestic abuse. Women’s Aid will continue to campaign until domestic abuse and all other forms of violence against women and girls are unaccepted and intolerable – so that all women and children are safe.
Women’s Aid Patron, Melanie Brown MBE, said:
“Domestic abuse isn’t like other issues as so many affected just can’t safely speak out and tell you, but it is everywhere and I’m telling you today lives are at risk, and women in particular need you. No matter which political party you are in, I’m asking you for your commitment today that domestic abuse is an issue you will prioritise.”
Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid, said:
“It is clear that the current system is failing survivors of domestic abuse, as well as society at large. Just one woman dying at the hands of her partner is too many – and the situation is much worse than this. We urge all political parties to take a whole-system response to tackling violence against women and girls; making it a national priority to save and transform lives. By prioritising the needs of women and child survivors, including those experiencing the most extreme forms of marginalisation, the whole of society will benefit.”