Support a domestic abuse bill with survivors at its heart.

It is vitally important to ensure survivors are able to escape to safety, and access the support they need to recover from abuse.  An estimated 21,084 referrals to all refuges in England were declined in 2017/18, averaging over 400 referrals declined each week. Women’s Aid wants sustainable funding for life-saving specialist support services to be at the centre of any legislation to make a real difference to survivors’ lives.

This general election offers an opportunity for all political parties to explicitly support equality for women. Women’s lives have changed significantly in the last 50 years but there is still lots of work to do. That’s why we’re backing the ‘Women’s and Girl’s Manifesto’, which calls for a system to prevent abuse and support survivors of all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

We want the next government to introduce a VAWG bill that will fully ratify the Istanbul Convention and include a comprehensive framework of equal protection and support for all survivors of domestic and sexual violence and abuse, as well as all other forms of VAWG without discrimination on any grounds, including nation or migrant status.

The main political parties have now published their manifestos for the 2019 general election, which include important commitments to tackling domestic abuse and violence against women and girls and many recommendations made by Women’s Aid:

  • The Conservatives have committed to: deliver legislation on domestic abuse; increase support for refuges; and pilot integrated domestic abuse courts that address criminal and family matters in parallel.
  • The Green Party have committed to: deliver legislation on domestic abuse; roll back cuts to domestic abuse support centres and women’s refuges; increase funding to provide more safe and secure accommodation for women and their children; and reverse cuts to legal aid.
  • The Labour Party have committed to: deliver legislation on domestic abuse; establish a National Refuge Fund to ensure women’s refuges receive the long-term sustainable funding; improve the safety of the family court system for domestic abuse victims; and introduce 10 days of paid leave for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • The Liberal Democrats have committed to: deliver legislation on domestic abuse; expand the number of refuges and rape crisis centres to meet demand; ensuring sustainable grant-funding for specialist independent support services; and give local authorities the duty and funding to provide accommodation and support for survivors of abuse.

Women’s Aid has spoken to survivors and services that support them, and we have brought their voices together to create a bill that works for survivors.

For more information:

Become a Campaign Champion

Give survivors of domestic violence a voice and help to ensure that politicians and other key decision makers are listening.

© 2019 Women's Aid Federation of England – Women’s Aid is a company limited by guarantee registered in England No: 3171880.

Women’s Aid is a registered charity in England No. 1054154

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