A sixpence in the pudding: make a wish about ending violence against women

The Conservative Party is all over the headlines with their row with the Met’s assistant commissioner Bob Quick – but that’s not all!

The Conservatives are also making news today with their call for more funding for 15 new rape crisis centres, for teaching children about domestic violence and giving clear guidance over what “consent” in sexual relations actually means.

Great stuff actually! If they carry this out in office – or indeed persuade the present government to replicate some of the Conservative’s “End Violence Against Women” strategy – then that has got to be a step forward in terms of a long-term effort to stamp out deep-rooted violence against women and girls in this country.

As ever, prevention is far better than cure, so stopping rape or domestic violence from happening in the first place is much better than clearing up the mess afterwards. If any of the Tories’ ideas sound familiar, by the way, that’s because they are! They’re very much along the lines of work done by Amnesty and the (excellent) End Violence Against Women campaign.

Three years ago Amnesty blazed a bit of a trail with a very well publicised survey of public opinions on rape (they were not altogether pleasant), while a subsequent EVAW poll of young people in the UK showed that they clearly felt short of information about domestic violence and other violence against women issues.

These issues are not going to go away and a new anti-domestic violence campaign in Scotland (the police are apparently called out on a DV case every 10 minutes there) is highlighting the “seasonal” nature of domestic violence. With extra alcohol consumption and family tensions often high at Christmas, the disturbing fact is that violence in the home is every bit as “traditional” at this time of year as overcooked turkey, crackers that don’t go bang and dodgy James Bond films on the telly.

Amnesty’s New Year’s wish is for a properly integrated strategy from the government in clamping down on all kinds of violence against women. Now that wouldn’t be a bad New Year’s resolution from the government.

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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.
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