International Women’s Day – Wednesday the 8th of March 2017
It’s a shocking statistic that, on average, two women every week are killed by their partner or ex-partner, and that 1 in 4 women will experience Domestic Violence (DV) in their lifetimes. Sadly these figures haven’t changed for decades.
We also learn this week that Nottinghamshire’s Police Force was rated ‘Inadequate’ in the way it identified and responded to vulnerable victims, with women reporting Domestic Violence highlighted as a concern. They say they have already taken steps to address this.
Nottingham Labour has promised to cut the number of victims of crime by a fifth in the City. Because of this we have made sure that Nottingham City Council support services for those experiencing Domestic Violence, such as Women’s Refuges, have been protected from cuts. This is despite the £82M cut in funding handed down by the Tory Government over the last four years.
Progress made – more to be done
So although International Women’s Day is partly a celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, the day also marks a call to action for improving the lives of women.
I’m proud of what the Labour Party achieved between 1997 and 2010 to help women dealing with Domestic Violence;
- ‘Go’ orders, to remove a perpetrator from a property for 14-28 days.
- specialist teams of Prosecutors to handle DV cases
- IDVAs, Independent Domestic Violence Advocates to help women through the courts process.
Attitudes have changed so much that even the Tories have started to recognize the scale of the problem. They’ve introduced;
- Making controlling behavior and emotional abuse a crime
- Stopping violent partners from cross-examining their victims in the family courts
- More funding for women with complex needs, such as alcohol and drug dependence, for which Nottingham has received an extra £100,000.
And I cheered last week when the Labour policy of Compulsory Sex and Relationship Education was announced. This will be introduced in all schools in England and will teach children a greater understanding of safe, respectful and healthy relationships.
The Women’s Quilt
I’ve spent many hours over the last few months sewing patches for The Women’s Quilt. The Quilt is made up of patchwork squares, each one containing the name of a woman killed by a partner or ex-partner between 2009 and 2015 – 598 squares. The Quilt is being launched in the House of Commons at 11.30am today, International Women’s Day, just before Chancellor Philip Hammond announces his budget. I hope it will soon be displayed in Nottingham.
The Quilt currently measures 3 metres by 3 metres square. On International Women’s Day, although I have hope for the future, I still ask the question ‘How much bigger will the Quilt have to grow?’
If you are experience Domestic Abuse or Violence, or know someone who is, please call the 24 hour Helpline for help and advice. 0808 800 0340 – and 0341 for text phone with Language Line.
IF YOU OR A FRIEND IS IN DANGER PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO CALL 999.
Councillor Linda Woodings