Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, has welcomed the rarely undertaken action by the Official Opposition to publish its own Green Paper to tackle violence against women and girls.
The Labour Party have released a landmark Green Paper containing draft legislation on ending violence against women and girls. Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, welcomes this paper as an important step in tackling rising cases of violence against women and girls across the UK over the last couple of decades.
Last year, the number of female homicide victims in England and Wales reached its highest level since 2006 – up 10% on the previous year. Domestic violence has also skyrocketed, with 260,000 domestic abuse offences between March and June 2020 alone.
Under the UK Conservative Government, rape convictions have fallen to a record low, and across the criminal justice system victims of rape are facing delays of up to four years as a result of the record-breaking backlog in the Crown Courts caused by a decade of Conservative cuts and court closures.
The UK Government itself has acknowledged its efforts to tackle gender-based violence have not been good enough, yet in the recent Queen’s Speech merely promised further consultations and reviews into the status quo, with little promise of substantive action.
Labour’s Ending Violence Against Women Green Paper proposes a long-term, whole-system response that provides justice and protection for survivors as well as delivering effective prevention, tackles social attitudes, inequality and discrimination that underpins the abuse women and girls face. An approach focused on criminal justice alone would only act as a sticking plaster on underlying misogyny and inequality in society.
Chris Elmore, MP for Ogmore, said:
“Under this Tory UK Government murders of women and girls has reached the highest level in decades. It’s really rare for the Official Opposition to publish its own draft legislation, but the Tories have proved themselves to be weak on crime and punishment so we had to step in. New laws are urgently needed to tackle all violence against women and girls.
“The current criminal justice system is failing women and girls who become victims of violent crimes. Labour’s ‘Ending Violence Against Women and Girls Green Paper’ proposes the creation of new offences and investment across the whole criminal justice system, but is also focused on tackling the social attitudes and inequalities at the root of this epidemic. We need this to become law to ensure women and girls in Ogmore are given the support they need and that perpetrators of violence face the full force of the law.
“In Wales, the Welsh Labour Government’s 2015 Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Act set out 10 national indicators of progress by which the Government can be held account. The Labour Party would build on this approach at a UK level, to ensure that tackling violence against women and girls is a priority for the UK Government instead of making empty commitments like the Tories in the Queen’s Speech last week.”