Tuesday, December 08, 2009

is this enough ?

in politics.co.uk

Charlotte Atkins MP supports ending Violence Against Women
Monday, 07, Dec 2009 12:00

Staffordshire Moorlands Labour MP Charlotte Atkins joined a group of MPs recently who are united in their support to end violence against women. The White Ribbon Campaign, the largest international organisation targeting men to work towards ending male violence against women, organised the event at Westminster.

As Chris Green, chair of the White Ribbon Campaign UK, said: “Parliamentarians enter parliament in order to make their community a better place. There is no more important way to do this than by working to eliminate violence against women.”

Every week in the UK, two women are killed as a result of domestic violence. There are countless victims of sexual assault, rape, incest, forced marriage, FGM, trafficking, and honour killing. The White Ribbon Campaign is, therefore, very supportive of the Home Office’s new strategy, ‘Together We Can End Violence Against Women and Girls’.

“Violence against women and girls is an obscenity. That is why we are taking action to bring perpetrators to justice and protect and support victims, but also to challenge the attitude that attacks on women and girls are in any way acceptable. A fair and responsible Britain has no place for violence of any sort,” said Ms Atkins.

“Violence against women and girls ruins lives, breaks up families and has a lasting impact across the generations. Much has been done over recent years to increase protection for women and to prosecute their attackers. However, this is a complex problem which demands an even broader response to stop violence from happening in the first place.

“Changing attitudes that tolerate violence against women and girls will take time but is essential if we are to eradicate this blight on women’s lives. Tackling violence against women and girls is one of the Government’s top priorities.

“Since 1997, we’ve introduced specialist domestic violence courts, given more money for rape crisis centres and toughened the law. This has contributed to a 64 per cent decrease in incidents of domestic violence and a 50 per cent increase in rape convictions over the last ten years.

“But there is more to do and it’s vital that we have a coordinated cross-government approach to combating all forms of violence against women and girls. The Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy provides this and its focus on prevention is critical to long-term change.

“From 2011, gender equality and preventing violence in relationships will be included in the statutory PSHE curriculum. The Training and Development Agency for Schools is being asked to make sure that gender awareness and VAWG is included in a review of Professional Standards for Teachers in 2010. This will help to ensure that teachers have the skills and experience to tackle these issues effectively.

“However, we know that schools are only part of the solution. We need to make sure that the most troubled families get the support they need to stop problems from escalating. That is why we are increasing investment in Family Intervention Projects and, from 2012, 10,000 families per year with complex needs will get help to tackle difficult issues such as domestic violence.

“Over 400 FIP workers have already been trained to identify and respond to domestic violence and a recent evaluation showed that they are helping to significantly improve the lives of vulnerable families, including reducing incidences of domestic violence,” Ms Atkins added.

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