Today is the UN’s Elimination of Violence against Women Day 2015. Globally, a staggering one in three women have experienced physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. It is deeply concerning that violence against women and girls is used as a deliberate strategy in some conflicts around the world and that here in the UK, at least 1 in 4 women experience domestic violence in their lifetime. Less than half of all domestic violence incidents are reported to the police yet they still receive one domestic violence call every minute in the UK. Violence is not inevitable. It can be prevented.
Prevention is the 2015 theme of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the 25th November marks the beginning of the UNiTE to End Violence against Women Campaign’s 16 day call for action. This year, the first UN Framework on Preventing Violence against Women has been launched. This framework calls for the adoption and enforcement of national laws to address and punish all forms of violence against women and girls, in line with international human rights standards. It also calls for the adoption and implementation of multi-sector national plans of action that emphasise prevention; the establishment of data collection and analysis systems, on the prevalence of various forms of violence against women and girls; the establishment of national and/or local campaigns and the engagement of a diverse range of civil society actors in preventing violence. The Framework additionally asks for support for women and girls who have been abused, for systematic efforts to address sexual violence in conflict situations, for protection for women and girls from rape as a tactic of war, and the full implementation of related laws and policies.
Emma joined Sarah Champion MP, Shadow Minister for the Prevention of Abuse and Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities, to show her support for the launch of the day in Parliament.
“I was proud to be able to join my colleagues in launching the UN’s Elimination of Violence against Women Day in Parliament, I look forward to when the UN Framework is put into practice so that women and girls around the world are not subjected to violence and harm. Whilst police forces have made vast improvements in encouraging victims of crime to come forward and report, harsh cuts to local authorities are leading to a reduction in protective and supportive services for women and girls across the UK. I will continue to work in Parliament to protect those services and find new strategies to improve the way violence against women and girls is tackled.”