Our campaign demands for the General Election
These are the 6 issues we will be raising with the various political parties and our individual MPs. Some of these issues will be easy to implement - such as the insistence that no woman ever be denied support due to migration status - others requirement serious commitment by political parties to ending male violence against women and girls. Please take a few minutes to write to the candidates in your area to ask what they will do to help end domestic and sexual violence and abuse.
- will they commit to increasing ring-fenced funding to specialist services?
- will they commit to enforcing mandatory sex & relationships education in school - something that Education Minister Nicky Morgan has recently announced will not be made statutory?
- ensure that all women living with domestic violence can access support, regardless of immigration status?
- examine funding specialist domestic violence courts where the prosecutors and judges have specialist training in domestic and sexual violence and abuse?
- examine the possibility of moving cases involving domestic and sexual violence and abuse from an adversarial system to an inquisitorial process.
- What is their stance on anonymity for suspects in cases of rape and other forms of sexual violence?
How will our politicians work for us?
Our long-term goals are the following:
1) Mandatory specialist training for lawyers, police, juries, and judges on domestic and sexual violence and abuse. We cannot change the culture if we have judges who believe that a 16 year old girl can ‘groom’ their teacher or a crown prosecutor labeling a 13 year old girl ‘predatory in all her actions’ during the trial of 41 year old man convicted of abusing her.
2) Ring-fenced, increased funding for services people living with domestic and sexual violence and abuse (DSVA), which is predicated on a gendered understanding of the reality of DSVA. This means recognising that the majority of victims of DSVA are women and children and the perpetrators are almost always male. It also requires acknowledging that black and minority ethnic (BME) women have specific needs that require their own specialist services, and that, despite years of activism from the 27 members of the No Recourse to Public Funds campaign, including Imkaan, Southall Black Sisters and Eaves, there are still a minority of women in the UK denied access to services because of their immigration status. It requires an understanding of the pattern of coercive control, which includes financial abuse perpetrated by non-resident parents who withhold child maintenance as a means of punishing the resident parent, usually the mother.
3) Specialist courses in journalism and media studies on male violence and DSVA so that journalists receive appropriate training to follow their own guidelines on accurate reporting, as well as an independent media complaints commission where any member of the public can file a formal complaint for misleading or offensive material and not just the victim of media misrepresentation or a member of the National Union of Journalists – if they belong to the organisation: specific ring-fenced funding attached.
4) All accredited social work programs, including universities, requiring mandatory courses on DSVA which are predicated on a gendered understanding of DSVA: specific ring-fenced funding attached; and
5) Mandatory sex and relationships education as set out by the End Violence Against Women organization.