About the Family Law Week blog

The Family Law Week Blog is a companion site to Family Law Week. It complements the news, cases and articles published on Family Law Week with additional comment and coverage of the wider aspects of family law.

The Blog is edited by Jacqui Gilliatt, of 4 Brick Court and Lucy Reed, of St Johns Chambers.

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

The Map of Gaps

End Violence Against Women is a ground-breaking campaign representing a coalition of organisations such as Amnesty International, Rape Crisis & Women's Aid, aiming to raise awareness of domestic violence issues. EVAW and the new Equality and Human Rights Commission, has just published a report, Map of Gaps, showing graphically, the postcode lottery of violence against women support services. Every year, 3 million women in the UK suffer rape, trafficking, harassment, forced marriage, domestic violence or some other form of gender-based violence. Specialised services, such as Rape Crisis Centres and refuges, are essential to help women deal with the immediate crisis, support them through the justice system, and help them move on with their lives.

EVAW's point is that provision is patchy in most parts of the UK and in some places there are no services at all. We have already witnessed a tide of closures and many more face closure because of a funding crisis in the sector.

The Map of Gaps shows:

A third of local authorities in the UK have no specialised support services;
Most women in the UK have no access to a Rape Crisis Centre;
Less than one in ten local authorities have specialist services for ethnic minority women that would address forced marriage, female genital mutilation and crimes in the name of honour amongst other issues.

You can see the Map of Gaps as a pdf file here .

EVAW and the Commission are calling for the government and local authorities to take urgent action to stem the tide of closures and ensure that all women have access to these vital services.

"It's time to plug the gaps", says Liz Kelly, Chair of End Violence Against Women, "It is simply too costly to continue with the current situation. Women deserve access to quality support services."

Woman's Hour on Tuesday morning featured interviews about the EVAW campaign as well as an interview with Womankind whose recent research has highlighted the prevalence of attitudes amongst school pupils that reinforce violent behaviour.

No comments: