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The Health, Safety And Welfare Of Women Already Hit By Brexit!

As always, major negative Government policies tend to hit women the hardest, with any Tory Government in power and so reports about the damage to worker's rights, pay and job prospects that Brexit will cause, have rightly told us that Brexit will hit women far worse than it will men.

But, we haven't even left the European Union yet, you might say and so it is just scaremongering to write such a headline!

Well, the facts speak for themselves with the lack of promised legislation on domestic violence due to the Government and Parliament being otherwise concerned about their own party political future and Brexit!

Over Christmas there will be no changes to the law and government support for women suffering from domestic violence, sexual violence and nowhere to go to escape it as Women's Refuges are at an all time low in terms of their availability. Worse still, there has been a decline in the number of domestic abuse cases referred to the CPS by the police recently, a drop linked by many to problems of police resources. In 2017-18, there were 110,562 referrals flagged up by officers as being related to domestic abuse. The overwhelming majority of victims were women.

Indeed, there will be no change of law or changes to support for women until AFTER Brexit has happened, if at all!

Campaigners, after meeting with Theresa May who gave her full support to the need to increase support for women and men facing Doimestic Violence; were hopeful that the draft Domestic Abuse Bill would be published before the end of this year. After all, it was originally pledged in the 2017 Conservative manifesto and the Queen’s Speech.

A public consultation on the plans - which Theresa May promised would help “put an end to this abhorrent crime for good” - closed more than seven months ago.

Politics Home website reporter Mat Foster reported on the delay to the draft Bill writing:

The Home Office said it remained "absolutely committed" to the plan to tackle a "devastating" crime.

But Jess Phillips, who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on domestic violence, told Politics Home: "This is another delay on the Domestic Abuse Bill. The Government is showing again and again that it cannot govern in a time of Brexit."

The Labour MP added: “This should not be held up and delays are not minor matters of bureaucracy - they are people's lives.

"Every delay is another woman failed in the family court, another child left without services, another woman left unsafe."

Labour's Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott meanwhile said the "repeated delays" to a plan once expected to be finalised in November were "unconscionable".

The opposition frontbencher told Politics Home: "There are a great number of issues related to the prevention of domestic violence, support for victims and prosecutions of perpetrators.

"But this government has failed to deliver on any of them. Serious action on all of these is long overdue."

And Liberal Democrat Wera Hobhouse demanded to see the the Government's plan to tackle an "abhorrent and unthinkable crime" before MPs head off for their Christmas break.

The party's communities spokesperson told this site: "In 2017-2018 there were two million people who were victims of domestic abuse. That shows just how urgently-needed a Domestic Abuse Bill is.

"Sadly, however, this Conservative government is so bogged down in its own Brexit mess that legislation is being delayed time and time again. Every delay puts more people at risk.

"Ministers must bring forward the Bill now. Not only that, but Liberal Democrats want more funding for refuges and rape crisis centres, as well as a new national rape crisis helpline to support victims and increase the chances of convictions."

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of women now face a Christmas of domestic violence including rape, beatings, verbal abuse and damage to their mental health. Abuse takes many forms and mental abuse occurs in every scenario.

Pic: Tory MP Philip DaviesBut the Tory face against women's rights and decency when it comes to the way we treat our fellow human beings and protect those who are subjected to violence, was clearly visible in Parliament:

The attempt this week by Shipley Tory MP, Philip Davies to block a bill on violence to women and girls because the Bill is 'sexist and discriminatory' fortunately failed. He spoke for over an hour to try to talk out a bill on whether the UK should ratify the Istanbul Convention, an international agreement compelling states to take certain steps to protect women and girls.

The legislation was brought forward as a private member’s bill by SNP MP Eilidh Whiteford, and was supported by members from all political parties., with the full commitment of the Home Office to the ratification of the Istanbul Convention. Despite Mr Davies’ objections MPs voted by 135 to 2 to give the legislation its second reading, while Home Office minister Brandon Lewis told the Commons the Government was “committed to ratifying the convention”.

Poltics Home adds:

Despite his outspoken opposition to equalities legislation, Mr Davies was earlier this week elected unopposed to the House of Commons’ Women and Equalities Committee – a group whose formation he recently described as “depressing”.

He has made a habit of trying to filibuster private member's bills by talking at great length during Friday sessions in the Commons.

His previous successes include blocking a bill to reduce hospital parking charges for carers, scuppering a bid to ban the use of wild animals in circuses and another which would have required schools to train children in first aid.

Source: Politics Home / The Guardian

Go to our E-Library Database for resources regarding Domestic Violence and the latest government report.

See also: Support For Victims Of Rape And Domestic Abuse Wholly Inadequate Says New Report

 


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