The United Nations Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women is an international event to highlight and combat violence against women and girls. I support this campaign, as it is one of my priorities and I am demanding a world without violence against women and girls. I am committing to challenge the attitudes and norms that allow this to exist.
The Crime Survey for England and Wales 2015 highlights that there are still very real concerns around gender-based violence. The survey shows not only an increase in reports of sexual assaults, but also that women are far more likely than men to experience this type of crime. In the period 2014 / 2015, Greater Manchester Police received 1,165 reports of sexual assaults on women, compared to 150 against men.
Sarah Champion MP, Shadow Minister for Preventing Abuse and Domestic Violence said “All violence is abhorrent. But these statistics demonstrate the persistent discrimination and gender inequalities that women face. We must commit to take action – violence is not inevitable, it can be prevented.”
“Police forces have made vast improvements in encouraging victims of crime to come forward and report, however I have a real concern that the police cuts proposed in next week’s Autumn Statement will undo this good work.”
Kate Green MP, Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities said: “These statistics are a reminder of how important services for victims of domestic violence really are. This Government is overseeing the closure of many domestic violence shelters for women, removing the last line of hope and safety for victims of violence and abuse. Women refuse to continue to bear the brunt of Government cuts at the expense of their safety and well-being.”
In my role as Shadow Minister for Disabled People, it is a disturbing fact that disabled women are at particular risk of domestic abuse. Some estimates state disabled women are twice as likely to experience domestic violence as non-disabled women. In marking this Day and supporting the forthcoming days of activism, it’s important to recognise the additional risks many disabled women face.