Violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights: Government announcement on consultation warmly welcomed

Responding to today’s announcement by the Home Secretary Jacqui Smith that the government is to launch a consultation process over a new strategy to combat violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in England, Amnesty International warmly welcomed the move as a “significant moment for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights” which could in the long run “lead to lives being saved”.

Amnesty International, which has been part of a three-year-long End Violence Against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights Campaign (EVAW) pressing for an integrated strategy to combat violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, is calling for high-level political backing for the strategy and for dedicated funding.

The organisation stressed that, with any government strategy emerging from today’s consultation, it was essential that all government departments and public bodies recognise their responsibility to address violence against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen said:

“The devil will be in the detail but this is a significant moment for Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights and one which could in the long run lead to lives being saved.

“For many years we’ve been urging the government to end postcode lotteries over service provision and a lack of joined-up thinking when it comes to tackling the scourge of domestic violence, rape, stalking, ‘honour’ killings and other dreadful crimes against Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights.

“Today’s announcement could be the breakthrough that Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights in this country have long been looking for. Now we need to see high-level political backing, dedicated funding and a focus on preventing these crimes in the first place.”

The government’s announcement comes at a time of crisis for many organisations dedicated to providing advice and services to affected Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights, warned Amnesty. For example, more than half of the Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights-only rape crisis centres or helplines in England and Wales have closed through lack of funds in the last two decades. Meanwhile, during the same period, the conviction rate for reported rapes has fallen sharply - it was recently a little over 6% of reported cases actually leading to a conviction.

Similarly, Amnesty has been highlighting a bureaucratic “no recourse to public funds” rule preventing vulnerable Women's rights's rightss rights's rights's rights's rights like international students, temporary workers and those on spousal visas from receiving any help or protection despite suffering dreadful domestic violence.

Kate Allen added:

“Today’s announcement is fantastic but we need to see proper ring-fenced funding to tackle trafficking, to provide services for excluded groups like those on visitor visas, and to raise the disgracefully low conviction rate for rape.”

ENDS

Media information:

Neil Durkin: 020 7033 1547, neil.durkin@amnesty.org.uk
Eulette Ewart: 020 7033 1552, eulette.ewart@amnesty.org.uk br />Out of hours: 07721 398984, www.amnesty.org.uk /p>

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