Researcher Phoebe Bunt writes for Politics Home on tackling violence against women and girls in the UK, arguing that tougher legal sanctions need to be accompanied by tools that help victims to access justice, and give them reason to trust the system. She writes:
“The most common reason sexual offences do not progress is because the victim does not wish to proceed. This must end. It’s a combination of shame, fear and, for 33% of victims, it is the concern that the police cannot help. As a result, they live with domestic abuse for on average two to three years before seeking help.
Identifying and preventing violence against women and girls is currently missing from school PSHE curriculum and teacher training. Universities often hold sexual consent workshops, but don’t follow up on non-attendance. The police aren’t doing much better. Forces in England and Wales had no record of who had been trained in dealing with sexual offence victims, nor if that training had been effective. Clearly, as a society we are ill-equipped to tackle violence against women and girls.”
Read the full piece here.