This is your chance to tell government how to help women and girls to feel safe and confident in their homes and communities 14 May 2009. Home Office encourages citizens to take part in the Government’s largest-ever public consultation on tackling violence against women and girls before it closes on the 29 May 2009.
Violence against women is any violence that targets a woman because she is a woman. It is also violence that disproportionately affects women.
It includes physical, sexual or psychological harm such as domestic violence, sexual assault, forced marriage, stalking, ‘honour’ attacks, human trafficking and female genital mutilation. It also includes threats of violence and kidnapping.
Launched by Home Secretary Jacqui Smith in March, the Together We Can End Violence Against Women And Girls consultation is intended to raise awareness and generate debate on what more could be done to end violence against women and girls.
The Government’s aim is for women and girls to
* go about their lives free from harassment or violence;
* live a life without fear of violence and live in a culture where violence against women and girls is unacceptable and people feel confident to intervene;
* know that other people will be ableto pick up on the early signs of violence and be able to help or advise them wherever possible;
* receive the support they need quickly in order to overcome the physical and mental impact of being a victim of violence;
* be safe and get help no matter wherethey live; and
* feel confident that, if they are a victim of violence, the police and courts will treatthem fairly when they report it, and to knowthat perpetrators will be brought to justice
Everyone is invited to give their views, regardless of gender or age. The survey takes about five minutes to go through and is anonymous.
The key themes being consulted on are:
* How do we prevent violence against women from happening in the first place?
* How do we reduce women’s disproportionate fear of violence and the disabling effect this has on many lives?
* How do we help friends, family, employers and public services to identify early signs of violence as soon as possible and do something about it?
* How do we make sure that women who seek specialist help, or need to leave home to start a new life, receive a consistent level of local support wherever they live?
* How do we protect and support the children who are growing up in violent households?
* How do we build confidence in the criminal justice system to improve reporting?
* How do we make sure that men who have attacked or abused already don’t continue to do so?
Facts and figures
* women are more than twice as likely as men to be worried about violent crime
* nearly one in three women have experienced domestic violence
* nearly one in four women have experienced some form of sexual assault
* 39% of women saying fear of crime has impacts their quality of life
* 53% of all serious sexual assaults are committed by a partner or ex-partner
* nearly one in ten women say they have been stalked
* children who have witnessed domestic violence are 2 times more likely to have serious behavioural problems than other children
* a survey by Sugar Magazine and the NSPCC in 2005found that one in five teenage girls who responded said they’d been hit by a boyfriend
* 40% of victims of serious sexual assault tell nobody
(Sources: the British Crime Survey 2007-08 and 2006-07, Sugar Magazine and the NSPC)