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Women: Violence

Volume 481: debated on Tuesday 21 October 2008

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what progress the Government Equalities Office has made in (a) developing and (b) implementing a cross-Government strategy on violence against women. (223006)

Tackling violence against women is one of the priorities for the Ministers for Women, and my Department has published a report, "Tackling Violence Against Women: A Cross-Government Narrative", which sets out the significant progress made by Government on this and the other priorities for the Ministers for Women. This report is available in the Commons Library.

The Government continue to look at how we can strengthen and develop our approaches and the Home Secretary will be announcing plans on how this will be taken forward shortly. My Department, the Government Equalities Office, will be working with and supporting the Home Office in this.

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent steps her Department has taken to tackle violence against women. (223007)

In July, the Government Equalities Office has more recently published “Women’s Changing Lives: Priorities for the Ministers for Women One Year On Progress Report” which details the significant progress made by Government on this and the other priorities for the Ministers for Women. It highlights a number of steps taken, including specifically by my Department. For example:

Creation of a cross-government emergency fund of £1 million to support rape crisis centres; and

Hosted a meeting for Ministers, including myself, with members of the newspaper and advertising industry to raise concerns about small adverts in newspapers—guidance for editors has since been tightened up.

This and the earlier report, “Tackling Violence Against Women: a Cross-Government Narrative”, are both available in the Libraries of both Houses.

The Government Equalities Office has a strategic and influencing role within Government on equalities issues, including tackling violence against women. We work in partnership with other Government Departments, including the Home Office, Ministry of Justice and the Attorney-General’s Office on this issue. As deputy Minister for Women and Equality, I sit on the interdepartmental ministerial groups on domestic violence, sexual violence and human trafficking to which progress on tackling these horrible crimes is reported.