UK’s approach to domestic violence called ‘incoherent’
- 15 Jun
The government has been criticised by the UN for lacking “a consistent and coherent” approach to tackling domestic violence against women, with further warning that the austerity agenda will further undermine the safety of individuals.
A leaked copy of an official report by the UN special rapporteur on violence against women, Rashida Manjoo, has called for an urgent inquiry into Yarl’s Wood and a focus on repeated allegations over sexual and physical abuse against detainees, reports the Guardian.
The full findings are to be released at a meeting of the Human Right Council in Geneva.
The senior UN official concludes that although the UK has made the issue a policy priority, the reality is that “isolated pockets of good practice” are compromised by the “lack of a consistent and coherent human-rights based approach in the government’s response to violence against women and girls”.
Manjoo recommends that sex education should become compulsory in schools saying: “The UK should commit to solid long-term prevention measures including SRE [sexual and relationships education] in schools.”
Marai Larasi, co-chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, welcomed the findings, saying: “We urge the UK government and the leaders in the devolved nations to act on her recommendations.”
The report also says that “Austerity measures are having an effect on the provision of services to address violence against women, as well as other cross-cutting issues affecting women such as poverty and unemployment.”
A statement from the Home Office said: “We have made protecting women and girls and supporting victims and survivors a key priority. We have criminalised domestic abuse and forced marriage, introduced ‘Clare’s Law’ and domestic violence protection orders, created two stalking offences, introduced FGM protection orders, passed a landmark modern slavery act to protect victims of slavery, ringfenced £40m for services to protect women and girls and allocated a further £10m specifically for refuge provision. The government has made sure legal aid is available for victims of domestic violence who need it.”
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