Gender Based Violence

Home Office written question – answered at on 17 January 2024.

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Photo of Damien Moore Damien Moore Conservative, Southport

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what steps his Department has taken to tackle (a) violence and (b) intimidation against young women and girls.

Photo of Laura Farris Laura Farris Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Ministry of Justice and Home Office)

We have made significant progress since we published the Tackling VAWG Strategy in July 2021 and the complementary Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan in March 2022.

In the Tackling VAWG Strategy, the government committed to invest £3 million to better understand what works to prevent violence against women – to invest in high quality, evidence-informed prevention projects, including in schools, aiming to educate and inform children and young people about violence against women, healthy relationships and the consequences of abuse.

Our Domestic Abuse Act became law in April 2021. This is a landmark piece of legislation which includes important new protections and support for victims. Abusers are no longer be allowed to directly cross-examine their victims in the family and civil courts, and victims have better access to special measures in the courtroom to help prevent intimidation – such as protective screens and giving evidence via video link.

To improve the police response to tackling these crimes, we have supported the introduction of a new full-time National Policing Lead for VAWG, DCC Maggie Blyth, and have added violence against women to the Strategic Policing Requirement, meaning it is now set out as a national threat for forces to respond to alongside other threats such as terrorism, serious and organised crime and child sexual abuse.

The Government also supported the Protection from Sex-Based Harassment in Public Act 2023, which makes public sexual harassment a specific offence. The Act will come into force as quickly as reasonably possible.

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