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Speaking out against violence towards women and girls

6 March 2009

The Home Secretary has launched the largest ever, cross-government public consultation on violence against women and girls.

The Together we can end violence against women and girls consultation will look at how we can challenge the attitudes behind violence and help make women feel safer.

Key themes

The consultation looks at how we can: 

  • prevent violence against women from happening in the first place
  • help friends, family, employers and public services to identify early signs of violence as soon as possible and do something about it
  • protect and support the children who are growing up in violent households
  • make sure that men who have attacked or abused already don’t continue to do so
  • help women feel more safe when they travel

It also outlines plans to setup a new advisory group that will look at how schools can prevent violence against women, as well as a review into the increasing sexualisation of teenage girls.

Tell us what you think

You can join in the debate about ending violence against women in several ways, you can:

‘Unacceptable – no matter what’

The government has already made significant changes to the way our justice system handles domestic and sexual violence, but the Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith, wants to start a national debate on what more can be done to prevent violence against women, and to challenge the attitudes that condone it.

She said, ‘Violence against women and girls is unacceptable in any form no matter what the circumstances are. 

‘Over the next twelve weeks we will be speaking to thousands of people across the country, through an online survey, in focus groups and with roadshows in more than 40 towns across the country. I want both men and women to engage with the consultation and tell us what would make them, or the women in their lives, feel and be safer.'

An opinion poll conducted by Ipsos Mori shows that more than one third of respondents know a woman who has been the victim of violence from a man she knows, and just over two in five respondents believe that a woman should be held either partly or fully responsible for being sexually assaulted or raped if she has been flirting heavily with a man.

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