Strategy for Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 7:13 pm on 21st July 2021.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department 7:13 pm, 21st July 2021

The right hon. Lady is right to highlight the issue of escalating behaviours. On waiting 10 years, this is the beginning of the journey. If one reads the strategy—I appreciate it only came out today—I hope one will see the immediate-term, medium-term and long-term aspirations. As Chair of the Home Affairs Committee, she will know better than anyone that some of the education work and cultural attitudes work will take time.

We cannot pretend that attitudes will change in a matter of months, but we have immediate-term work. The public communications campaign will be launched later this year. We will begin the appointment process for the national policing lead as soon as possible. The online tool pilot is being launched next month. The what works fund is being set up, and it is an interesting fund because I am trying to mirror the excellent work of the youth endowment fund in tackling serious violence. We want to do the same for violence against women and girls and build the evidence base.

I accept the right hon. Lady’s point that we cannot wait 10 years, but there is a lot of work before that 10-year period ends. I very much want colleagues on both sides of the House to see this as the beginning of the journey.