Women’s Aid responds to General Election manifestos

28th November 2019

Adina Claire, Acting Co-Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

“Women’s Aid welcomes the commitment of all major political parties to delivering a dedicated new law on domestic abuse, and sustainably funding the specialist services that survivors and their children need. After the Domestic Abuse Bill fell before the General Election, we are pleased that all political leaders have listened to the voices of survivors when developing the manifestos.

“Crucially, all parties have named our national network of refuges as a priority. Women’s Aid have long campaigned to safeguard these life-saving services, who despite welcome emergency government funding, continue to struggle on shoe-string budgets. The last government’s proposed new duty on local authorities to fund refuges and ‘safe accommodation’ for survivors and their children was a welcome step forward, but we must see this translate into real investment on the ground. Finally securing the future of specialist services – including expert services led ‘by and for’ BME, disabled and LGBT survivors – must be an urgent priority for the next government.

“Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have all committed to equal protection and support for migrant survivors, which is crucial for the women whose insecure status is manipulated by perpetrators as a form of abuse, who face severe barriers to accessing help and multiple forms of discrimination. It’s a great win for our allies in the Step Up Migrant Women campaign, led by the Latin American Women’s Rights Service, who have led calls ensure full and equal protection and support for migrant survivors is enshrined in a new Domestic Abuse Bill.

“The safety of the family courts is high profile in the manifestos. We know survivors are hugely frustrated that two pieces of legislation, in two different parliaments, that would have banned a perpetrator from cross-examining a victim in the family court, have fallen due to general elections in 2017 and 2019. The next government must ban this abhorrent practice once and for all, alongside wider changes to ensure the family courts protect the safety and wellbeing of survivors and their children.

“With these commitments, we are hopeful that the momentum to tackle domestic abuse in the last parliament will be continued in the next. The courage of survivors to improve protection and support for the future must urgently be met with a new Bill that truly transforms the response to all forms of violence against women and girls. We look forward to working with the next government to make that happen.”

If you are worried that your partner, or that of a friend or family member, is controlling and abusive, you can go to www.womensaid.org.uk for support and information, including Live Chat, the Survivors’ Forum, The Survivor’s Handbook and the Domestic Abuse Directory.

For more information, please contact the Women’s Aid press office: 020 7566 2511 [email protected]

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