Victim support charity praises government’s new plans to tackle violence against women
Written by Lauren Paul
Victim Support has issued a statement on the government’s new plans to eradicate violence against women and girls.
The independent charity for England and Wales supplies victims and witnesses to crimes with specialist practical and emotional support.
They have recently seen referrals for sexual offences reach new and worrying heights.
A new police role is set to be created to deal with this issue.
A national policing lead will work towards ensuring their best practice as they aim to improve response times to these crimes.
£5m of funding will go towards tackling violence in public places at night, while a 24-hour rape and sexual assault helpline will be set up to improve support.
An online tool will also give women and girls the opportunity to log which areas they felt unsafe in.
Rachel Almeida, the Assistant Director at Victim Support, said: “We welcome the new measures announced by the government to improve the safety of women and girls, especially when the number of survivors of sexual violence and domestic abuse accessing Victim Support’s specialist, community-based services has reached peak levels in the last few months.
“Too many have experienced sexual violence, domestic abuse, forced marriage, stalking and harassment, which can have a devastating impact on survivors’ well-being and sense of security, but [have] not [been] given the right level of support they need.
“While it is a step in the right direction to have a national policing lead for these crimes, only system-wide, societal change will end violence against women and girls.
“It is vital there is a shift from the ‘victim blaming’ culture and poor police treatment for victims that has contributed to dismal justice outcomes for the majority of survivors.
“Much more needs to be done to address the epidemic of offending against women and girls across health, education and the wider justice system.”
The new police role comes after Sarah Everard was murdered by police officer Wayne Couzens in March which prompted mass demonstrations about women’s safety.
The government will publish their full plans for this on Wednesday.