Bristol Women’s Voice are supporting the campaign from Southall Black Sisters to question the government over their dual strategy on violence against women and girls (VAWG).
We share the concern and alarm that this policy is forging ahead without any consultation or an assessment that this decision will be positive for women and girls or the organisations that support them. It also undoes years of work by the VAWG sector to address domestic abuse and other forms of gender-based violence in a systematic way using a human rights framework.
(See Realising Rights, Fulling Obligations: A Template for an Integrated Strategy on VAWG in the UK EVAW, 2008 https://www.endviolenceagainstwomen.org.uk/a-different-world-is-possible/ ).
The Government is currently consulting on updating the VAWG Strategy but have not made it clear that there is also a domestic abuse strategy running in parallel which risks de-gendering domestic abuse, de-prioritising certain forms of VAWG, defunding smaller specialist services, and creating confusion and silos in the understanding of VAWG.
If you are engaging in the consultation process, which ends on February 19th, please make clear at the outset that you disagree with the dual strategy approach and urge the Government to adopt a single framework for tackling VAWG that includes domestic abuse.
Find out more about the Southall Black Sisters campaign here.
Bristol Women’s Voice have added our name to the public statement [Govt-two-separate-strategies-on-DA-and-VAWG-Statement] and have written to Government Minister Victoria Atkins to express our concerns.
We urge more people to write to Victoria Atkins and the VAWG Strategy consultation team using the template letter (Email to MPs) and sending it to:
You can also write to your MP to ask them to raise this issue with the Government. There is a template letter and information on how to contact your MP here [Governments-dual-strategy-on-VAWG_template email – Email to MPs].
The Government must reconsider. The dual strategy approach is conceptually unsound and neither viable nor warranted. If implemented it will represent a profoundly gender regressive development.