Response to the home office: Together we can end violence against women and girls: A consultation response

Gilchrist, Elizabeth; Fisher, Martin; Kinmond, Kathryn; Lazard, Lisa; Majumdar, Anamika and Rouf, Khadj (2009). Response to the home office: Together we can end violence against women and girls: A consultation response. British Psychological Society.

Abstract

Brief Summary of Response

The Society commends the government initiatives to tackle violence against women and girls by raising public awareness, increasing coverage of issues in schools, conducting awareness training staff in a wide variety of public settings, aiming to increase the feelings of safety in women and girls and improving criminal justice and other agencies’ responses to gendered violence.

However, members of the Society have some concerns that lack of critical awareness might mean that issues are oversimplified and individuals who do not fit mainstream views of ‘normal’ relationships or ‘deserving victim’ could be disadvantaged. Focussing on women’s safety in public places and self defence training could reinforce victim blaming attitudes, fail to reduce fear or increase safety and fail to address the needs of those experiencing abuse within their families.

Interventions for offenders are available but the limits of these should be acknowledged; they need to be developed to address issues of heterogeneity and should not be seen as stand-alone measures. There is a need for integration of provision including information, support and safety planning for victims; and monitoring, supervision and restriction, in addition to interventions, for individual offenders. Individualised responses should be balanced with broader initiatives for a holistic response to violence against women and girls, and appropriate funding should be guaranteed.

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