On 8 March 2011 the government launched an action plan to tackle all aspects of violence against women and girls.
- 'No level of violence against women and girls is acceptable in modern Britain or anywhere else in the world.' - Theresa May, Home Secretary
The call to end violence against women and girls action plan includes 88 cross-government actions aimed at tackling this important issue, and outlines the plan to challenge the attitudes and behaviours that allow such violence to happen in the first place.
On 25 November 2011, a progress review was published examining what has been achieved so far and setting out a schedule for ongoing work.
The long-term commitment to combat and prevent this issue is fully justified. In the last year alone, there were over 1 million female victims of domestic abuse in England and Wales. Around 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 women are raped each year. In the UK, more than one in four women will experience domestic abuse since the age of 16 years old, often with years of psychological abuse.
- at least 1 in 4 women in the UK will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime (British Crime Survey (BCS) 2010/11)
- domestic violence accounts for 18% of all violent incidents (crime in England and Wales 2010/11), 7 per cent of women and 5 per cent of men reported having experienced any domestic violence in 2010/11
- in the 2010/11 BCS, 73 per cent of incidents of domestic violence were experienced by repeat victims, and of the victims interviewed, just under half were victimised more than once, and nearly a quarter were victimised three or more times
- every year around 400,000 women are sexually assaulted and 80,000 women raped (BCS 2010/11)
- domestically, the cost of providing public services (including health, legal and social services) to victims and the lost economic output of women affected runs to billions of pounds. An indicative figure for the minimum and overlapping cost of violence against women and girls is £36.7 billion annually
- in January to December 2010 the forced marriage unit received 1735 reports relating to possible forced marriage, and provided direct support in 469 assistance and immigration cases
- approximately 66,000 women with female genital mutilation are living in England and Wales (Forward)
The action plan recognises that violence against women and girls occurs in all countries and is an issue which crosses borders. The Home Office:
- supports innovative new projects in poorest countries
- works with international organisations and governments overseas to globally promote women's rights and reduce the impact of conflict on women and girls
Working in partnership
We have to work together to achieve our goal of ending violence against women and girls. It is not a task for central government alone. We will need to work with families and communities to change attitudes. Local authorities, police and crime commissioners, voluntary and community organisations, community safety partnerships, the NHS and more will need to work together to meet the needs of their local communities.
If you have experienced violence visit Directgov, which has information and support.
If you are in immediate danger dial 999.
(Links will open in a new window)
- Department of Health: violence against women and children
- Forced marriage unit
- Female genital mutilation
- Government equalities office
- National domestic violence helpline
- National stalking helpline
- The poppy project
- NSPCC Helpline
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