A postcode lottery of a different kind
Did you know that if youre a woman whos been raped, abused at home, trafficked or suffered violence of one sort or another, the chances of getting appropriate specialised services can vary greatly according to where you live.
Shocking really that in 2007, women face a postcode lottery when it comes to accessing the kind of specialised support services they may need. Yet thats what the report out today by the End Violence Against Women coalition, of which Amnesty International is part, has shown..
Map of Gaps as its called reveals the overwhelming disparity between support services provided in different parts of the UK. It also highlights that every year one woman in ten in the UK will experience violence of one sort or another. Thats a pretty frightening statistic, as I certainly know more than ten women, and Im sure you do too. It is imperative that women can reach appropriate support services to help her during that traumatic time, no matter which part of the country she lives in..
Were now on day four of 16 days of activism to stamp out violence against women. Which may explain why the Government has chosen to use this day to announce a new system in rape cases. It hopes to provide jurors in rape trials with information on the way an attack can affect a victims behaviour so as to increase conviction rates for rape cases. As weve highlighted before, these are appallingly low.
The Governments move is a good one but its an isolated gesture which is frankly insufficient on its own. There needs to be more joined up thinking when it comes to improving conditions for women who have been victims of violence. EVAW is calling for an integrated strategy. Lets hope that the Government gets a real wake up call when it reads Map of Gaps today..
Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.