Topic: Government initiatives
Over the past few years, a number of government initiatives have signalled the emergence of both domestic and sexual violence higher up the policy agenda, and the recognition of the need to address these across government departments. For latest updates and news from government see the associated articles on the right.
Some key initiative sand proposals from the government recently include:
- Government launches pilot Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme - March 2012
- Home Office launches campaign to tackle teenage abuse in relationships
- 'Call to end violence against women: an action plan' Published March 2011
- 'Together we can end violence against women and girls' strategy, launched November 25 2009
- Action plan for tackling violence 2008
- the National Domestic Violence Delivery Plan 2005, and the annual Progress Reports;
- the establishment of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Domestic Violence;
- the amalgamation of domestic violence and sexual violence within one department of the Home Office;
- the explicit inclusion within the National Delivery Plan of forced marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM) and honour-based violence;
- the introduction of specific legislation aimed at addressing FGM (Female Genital Mutilation Act 2003), domestic violence (Domestic Violence Crime and Victims Act 2004) and forced marriage (The Forced Marriage (Civil Protection) Act 2007);
- the development of a strong criminal justice response to domestic violence, including the expansion of Special Domestic Violence Courts and the rolling out of perpetrator programmes;
- the development of Independent Domestic Violence Advisor Services (IDVAs) and Multi-Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARACs) for identified “high risk” survivors.
However, the Government’s main emphasis is on criminal justice responses, whereas other issues – such as the provision of specialist domestic violence support services - are of equal or greater importance in contributing to survivor safety.
Government initiatives also tend towards a gender-neutral approach, whereas all available evidence shows that men and women tend mostly to have had different experiences of domestic violence and require a different response (1) .
1. Robinson, Amanda and Rowland, James (2007) “What do men want?” Safe Summer 2007; Coulter, Mark (2007) “Male victims and national standards for domestic and sexual violence” Safe Spring 2007.