Women’s Aid responds to General Election manifestos
Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid said:
“It is positive to see commitments from all major political parties to supporting survivors of domestic abuse – especially policies that Women’s Aid has worked hard to get on the political agenda.
“We welcome the commitments made by all parties to improve victims’ rights. In particular, we welcome the commitment to refuge funding pledged by both Labour and the Conservatives. Women’s Aid has been campaigning for almost three years to protect our national network of life-saving refuges. The recent report following an inquiry into supported housing issues recommended a separate funding model for refuges. When the new Government is in place, we will be working to ensure that this recommendation is taken forward. Refuges help to save the lives of the thousands of women and children who flee domestic abuse each year, and they must be protected.
“We are delighted to see that our call to “end the postcode lottery” response to domestic abuse has been widely supported. A Domestic Violence Commissioner could be transformative. All survivors of domestic abuse – when they make that first brave step to disclose – need to be able to get the right help at the right time. The postcode lottery was a key factor in the development of our flagship pilot project to transform responses to domestic abuse, Change that Lasts. We aim to ensure the new Government shares our vision for earlier intervention for domestic abuse, rather than just crisis response.
“A pledge to ban to cross-examination in the family courts is made by both Labour and the Women’s Equality Party. This is welcomed again by Women’s Aid, who brought this issue to national attention with our Child First campaign. Work had already begun by the previous Conservative Government to implement the legislation needed to ban this abhorrent practice. Now, we need the next Government to continue this work, to protect survivors of domestic abuse in the family courts – and crucially, to ensure that the safety and wellbeing of children is paramount in the family courts.
“Women’s Aid looks forward to working with the new Government after the Election. With two women a week on average being killed by a partner or ex-partner in England and Wales, it is essential that tackling domestic abuse is a top priority for our next leaders”.