The British government has published a landmark draft Domestic Abuse Bill, aimed at supporting survivors and their families and pursuing offenders. It comes as it is revealed domestic abuse issues cost the country £66 billion a year.
Commenting, Anne Quesney — an advisor on violence against women and girls at ActionAid UK — said:
"The UK’s landmark domestic abuse bill is a step in the right direction; putting the spotlight on perpetrators and empowering survivors to seek justice. It is an important moment for all the UK campaigners who have tirelessly pushed for changes to be made. However, survivors of violence worldwide also need to feel supported - the British government could have taken a much broader, more holistic approach to ending violence against women and girls.
"Globally, five women die every hour from domestic abuse, and much more is needed to tackle the barriers to access to justice for women and girls - be they barriers within the legal system, or external barriers, such as economic inequality, lack of police and other services, and shame or stigma associated with violence against women and girls. In the poorest countries, where ActionAid works, women are at an even higher disadvantage.
"Through its reforms of the justice system to treat survivors fairly, the British government could play a global role in influencing other countries to follow suit. We need a unified, properly resourced system that changes attitudes at every level of society and ends violence against women and girls for good."
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Notes to editors
1. ActionAid works with women and girls living in poverty. Our dedicated local staff are helping end violence against women and girls and changing lives, for good. We won’t stop until women and girls are out of danger, out of poverty and on track to create the future they want.