Today, International Women’s Day 2018, the UK Government have launched their consultation on Transforming the Response to Domestic Abuse.
Welsh Women’s Aid welcomes proposed measures to improve agency responses and ensure preventing domestic abuse is everyone’s business across England and Wales.
Eleri Butler, Chief Executive of Welsh Women’s Aid said,
“We hope that this important consultation will ensure equal access to safety and support for all survivors and their children, that perpetrators are more effectively held to account to stop their abuse, and that the prevention of violence and abuse becomes everyone’s business.
“We welcome proposals for a broader definition of domestic abuse incorporating the criminalization of coercive control, proposals to improve survivors’ experiences of the justice system and a Commissioner to champion the rights of survivors for England and Wales.
However we are disappointed that the scope of the consultation and proposed reforms do not extend to cover all forms of violence against women, including sexual violence.
We need to ensure that any new proposals make a real difference to all survivors in Wales. This means proposals must address the impacts of welfare reform that are disproportionately affecting survivors of domestic and sexual abuse, and they must address the needs of migrant and refugee women impacted by abuse and ensure women with no recourse to public funds have equal access to safety and specialist support. Without parallel commitments to sustainably fund specialist services, the impact of any reforms will be limited. It is only by addressing all forms of violence and abuse, including sexual violence and exploitation, domestic abuse, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, will we ensure no woman is left behind and all survivors can achieve safety, liberty, and live equal violence-free lives.”