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Violence against Women and Girls

Volume 618: debated on Monday 5 December 2016

In March, we published the new violence against women and girls strategy, which sets out an ambitious programme of reform, supported by increased funding of £80 million, to make tackling these crimes everybody’s business, to ensure that victims get the support they need and to bring more perpetrators to justice. We have also introduced a new domestic abuse offence to capture coercive control, and consulted on new measures to protect victims of stalking.

As a trustee of Helping Victims of Domestic Violence, a local domestic abuse charity in my constituency, I have seen at first hand just how worrying domestic abuse and sexual offences can be. Will the Minister meet me and the police and crime commissioner in my constituency to see what more we can do together?

My hon. Friend is right to pay tribute to the voluntary sector organisations that do so much to support victims. I would be delighted to meet her and the police and crime commissioner for her constituency to see what more we can do to support those victims.

Does the Minister share my concern that Survivors Hull and East Riding, which has supported local victims of sexual trauma for more than two decades, is about to close because of a lack of funding? Would she be willing to meet me to discuss what more resources can go into providing a service locally for those victims?

The hon. Lady is right to raise that case. I am horrified to hear of such a valued service facing that situation. I would be very pleased to meet her to see what we can do to access funding.

There were 18,000 domestic violence offences against women in the last year in Leeds alone, so there are still far too many. Does the Minister agree that we need to do more to educate boys and men about this crime so that that figure comes down considerably?

The hon. Gentleman raises a very important point about the important role that men can play and the importance of educating young people about appropriate sexual relationships. He will be pleased to know that world-class resources are available to do that not only from the Home Office, but from the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre. More such work is going on in schools than ever before.