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

My hon. Friend identifies an important theme in this work. I should say that it is work that we set out not just in this strategy; there is a whole body of work that we are doing across government to fight youth violence, in particular, and the work of gangs. Part of that is about ensuring that girls do not fall foul of criminal gangs through exploitative relationships that can harm them greatly. On building confidence, this is where, among other things, the national policing lead can make a real difference, because we must tackle head on this issue of trust in the police and the ability of victims and complainants to put their experience before the police. Interestingly, the analysis we did during the rape review suggested that victims are reporting rape offences more to the police, but we must do more to ensure that people know that the sorts of offences we have heard about today, particularly those in the street, are offences and that they can and must, please, if they are able to, go to the police about them. We can do that through the communications campaign, as well as through education.