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Women: Violence

Volume 481: debated on Monday 27 October 2008

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent assessment she has made of the (a) nature and (b) extent of violence against women; and if she will make a statement. (229882)

In July the Minister for Women and Equality published “Women's Changing Lives: Priorities for the Ministers for Women One Year On Progress Report”. In this report the Government assess the nature and extent of violence against women at length, and detail the significant progress made by Government on tackling violence against women and the other priorities for the Ministers for Women.

More recently the Home office, with the support of my Department, announced that they are undertaking a scoping project to audit current activity to tackle violence against women, identify gaps in delivery and look for opportunities to join up more strategically at a national and local level.

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

To ask the Minister for Women and Equality what recent progress has been made in the Government's work to reduce levels of violence against women; and if she will make a statement. (229883)

In July the Minister for Women and Equality 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 tackling violence against women and the other priorities for the Ministers for Women. It highlights a number of measures taken to reduce levels of violence against women, including:

Rolling out multi-agency risk assessment conferences across the country to reduce repeat incidents of domestic violence. MARACs are currently operational in 100 areas, and will be rolled out nationally by 2010-11.

Implemented a range of changes to the legal system and to how the police and Crown Prosecution Service work, which have resulted in women's increased willingness to report rape. Reporting of rape has increased since 1997, with the number of rapes reported to the police rising from 6,628 in 1997 to 12,654 in 2007-08.

Criminalised all forms of human trafficking and secured 86 convictions for trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation under the Sexual Offences Act. Since publication, this number has increased to 90 convictions (as of September 2008).

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