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Women’s groups write to Boris and Hunt


EVAW Coalition, 30 women's groups, letters, Boris Johnson, Jeremy Hunt, leadership candidates, support policies, end violence against women and girls, pledge, end sexual violence, domestic abuse, Violence against women and girls deserves political attention and leadership because of the damage it does.

Over 30 women’s groups have written letters to the two Conservative Party leader candidates Jeremy Hunt and Boris Johnson asking them to make specific pledges to tackle domestic and sexual violence if they become the next Prime Minister.

The organisations, which work supporting survivors of all forms of violence against women and girls througout the UK, are asking Hunt and Johnson to:

Ensure the draft Domestic Violence Bill becomes law and is delivered;

Renew the cross-government Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy from 2020 onwards – this includes life-saving work from ensuring hospital there are domestic violence workers in A&E departments, to advising on the framework for the way schools teach Relationships & Sex Education, and critical work to end forced marriage and FGM;

Give Prime Ministerial support to the Home Office and Ministry of Justice ‘Rape Review’ of falling prosecution rates as it publishes its recommendations this year, and ensure its recommendations are carried out; and

Assemble a cross-departmental team to look at how national government can recognise the critical value of local women’s support services and support work to ensure they are sustainable before any more are lost.

The part of the letters common to both said:

‘We are living in an era of enormous changes in public recognition of and attitudes towards gender based violence.

Reporting to the police, and help-seeking from local support services, are at their highest ever levels and the #MeToo movement has exposed the huge scale of sexual harassment and violence.

We hope you share with us a real desire to drive these social changes further, so that a real end to violence against women and girls might be in sight.

There is already a significant legislative and policy agenda under way to prevent and tackle gender-based violence, and we want to ask you as a candidate for Prime Minister to commit to maintaining and building on this work.

The Home Office-led Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy is a critical framework, encouraging all government departments to play their part in ending abuse so that it is never again seen as purely a policing matter.

It extends to the introduction of compulsory Relationships and Sex Education in 2020, the new White Paper on online harms, and much of the proposed content of the Domestic Abuse Bill, including the setting up of a critical new Commissioner in this area.

At a time of enormous political change in the UK, we believe that violence against women and girls deserves political attention and leadership because of the damage it does to thousands of women’s and girls’ lives and all those who love them, which is why we have taken the time to write.

We hope to hear from you soon.’

The women’s organisations will publish any replies on the End Violence Against Women Coalition’s website.

To read their letter to Boris Johnson click here, and for the letter to Jeremy Hunt, click here.

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