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Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls Remains Key Issue

07 March 2024

text that reads Tackling VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls) with the Leeway logo


It was recently the third anniversary of the murder of Sarah Everard, who was killed by an off-duty police officer as she walked home from a friend’s house.

Sarah’s murder led to significant numbers of women coming forward, detailing how they so often did not feel safe going about their everyday lives and were often subjected to unwanted attention, stalking, harassment, and other forms of violence.

The recently published inquiry, looking into the failings that led to her murder and what needs to be done to restore trust in the police and make women feel safe in our society.

In this blog, we look at what has already been done to tackle the key issue of Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) and what still needs to be done.

Positive Change

In response to Sarah’s murder, the government reopened their VAWG consultation, receiving an additional 160,000 responses in the space of just two weeks.

This helped to guide the government’s VAWG Strategy, which has pledged increased funding to tackle this important issue. In particular, the Safer Streets fund has seen money invested to better protect women and run awareness campaigns.

The strategy has also helped to guide legislation, whether that’s amending existing Acts or helping to shape new ones.

  • The Online Safety Act makes specific reference to the impact it has on women and girls and will work with the Domestic Abuse Commissioner to ensure that it works to protect those at risk.
  • Some police forces, including the Metropolitan Police, have also implemented their own VAWG strategies, highlighting the steps that they are taking to ensure the safety of women.

It is encouraging to see that there have been changes made in the past three years, but there is still so much that could be done to tackle domestic abuse and other forms of violence.


Despite the increased awareness of VAWG in recent years, the latest Office for National Statistics data highlights that the conviction rate for domestic abuse remains low. This must improve to send out a strong message that it is not tolerated in our society and to give encouragement to those experiencing it across the country.

If it is perceived that perpetrators face no consequences for their actions, it demoralises those experiencing it to come forward and makes perpetrators believe that they can get away with it.

As highlighted in the Sarah Everard inquiry, there also needs to be improved confidence in the way the police respond to domestic abuse and a shift in culture and attitudes. Greater awareness or training may be useful to ensure that officers can spot the signs of abuse and know how to respond effectively and with empathy.

We all have a responsibility to tackle all forms of violence against women and girls to prevent it from becoming normalised in society. This could mean calling out examples of misogynistic behaviour of those you know, looking out for friends and family, or sharing information about the support that is available.

Our local communities should be a safe place for everyone and we all have a role to play to achieve this.

Leeway has a comprehensive domestic abuse awareness training programme. For details of upcoming courses, email