Rape Crisis responds to launch of Government's Domestic Abuse Bill consultation
The Government launched its consultation into the Domestic Violence Bill on International Women's Day (8th March) last week. The choice to launch on a day that represents the multiple forms of oppression and struggles faced by women and girls worldwide highlighted the inadequately narrow and limited scope of this consultation.
Rape Crisis welcomes the proposal of this Bill, and the light being shone on Violence Against Women and Girls as a result, but we are deeply concerned by the absence of focus on or mention of sexual violence services.
At a time of scarce resources and unprecedented and continuously rising demand, the proposed Bill misses a clear opportunity to address the needs of victims and survivors of all forms of violence against women and girls, and does not go nearly far enough.
We want a Bill, in keeping with the Violence against Women, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Act 2015, which incorporates sexual violence and acknowledges and addresses the current gaps in law, policy, resourcing and service provision. A Bill that recognises sexual violence exists on a continuum.
Above all, we want and need a Bill that works for the huge number of victims and survivors of male violence and their multiple and overlapping experiences.
Rape Crisis England & Wales will be responding to the consultation and writing separately to ministers ahead of the 31st May deadline.