The UK is set for a general election next year. Elections decide which party, or parties, are in charge of the running of the country.
Both the Conservative Party and Labour Party have held their annual conferences recently, outlining what they hope to do should they be in power.
Ahead of next year’s election, organisations across the country have come together to create a manifesto for all political parties to adopt, which would lay down a commitment to tackle domestic abuse and all forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG). This is a decisive issue and we hope that all parties commit to supporting survivors and sending out a strong message that these behaviours aren’t tolerated.
Over 70 organisations across the country, including Women’s Aid, have supported the joint manifesto and have called on the major political parties to commit to delivering it.
Tackling domestic abuse and VAWG should be in the interest of everyone, regardless of what political party they are part of, and it is hoped that parties will adopt the recommendations into their manifestos.
By doing this, it will be seen as a promise to deliver on, should they come into power, which they will be held accountable for.
The important issue of VAWG has been in the news quite frequently over the past few years, with the murder of Sarah Everard often seen as the catalyst for opening up discussions around key topics such as stalking, harassment, domestic abuse, and sexual assault.
Whilst progress has been made in recent years, there is still much more that needs to be done to better protect women, which is one of the key aims of the VAWG Coalition.
The manifesto is broken down into a number of sections, each with recommendations that will help to support survivors and provide better protections for them.
There are calls for reform in the family courts and criminal justice system, ensuring all survivors have access to special measures and putting a firewall between statutory services and the Home Office so that people can seek support without fear of immigration enforcement.
The coalition has also called for improvements to social housing, making it easier for survivors to access accommodation and receive priority when doing so.
Education forms a key part of the proposals, with calls for greater training and education to tackle misogyny in schools, as well as promoting the importance of healthy relationships and gender equality. There are also calls for greater funding for specialist organisations tackling VAWG and domestic abuse, as well as dedicated emergency funding to support those looking to flee.
We hope that all political parties commit to tackling domestic abuse and adopt the recommendations set out by the VAWG Coalition. Over the past few years, we have seen great strides forward, but it is important that we continue to ensure that we are doing all we can to support those experiencing domestic abuse.
We will continue to campaign alongside Women’s Aid and other national organisations to ensure that the voice of survivors is heard and that support is available for everyone.
Leeway would urge anyone experiencing domestic abuse to contact us for support. You can call us on 0300 561 0077, email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us through our Live Chat service on our website.