The Mayor of London will unveil a new £18million funding package on Wednesday aimed at combating the “plague” of violence against women and girls in the city.
During a visit to Waltham Forest in north-east London, Sadiq Khan will announce the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy, using public health and education to implement the initiative.
According to a statement issued ahead of the official announcement, Mr Khan said the campaign will take a “holistic approach” to improve safety for women and girls across the city while improving services for victims and survivors.
City Hall’s nearly £18 million is intended to improve accountability for perpetrators of gender-based abuse and to better educate men and boys about sexism.
Mr Khan said: “The epidemic of violence is a crisis that should put us all to shame. That is why I am uniting with partners across London to support not only women and girls, but also inform and inform all Londoners, especially men. about the danger of misogynistic attitudes and behaviour.
“In addition to record investments in services for victims and survivors, I also fund initiatives that address the behavior of those who are at risk of criminalizing or re-offending to prevent them from resorting to violence.
“Change won’t happen overnight, but I believe that together we can help stop the men who want to harm women and bring about lasting change in the culture of our society so that women and girls can finally live their lives without fear, intimidation or abuse.”
He added that improvements need to be made in all criminal justice services to improve trust in the police and prosecution of VAWG.
His strategy includes working with the Met to “improve systems, officer training – particularly around domestic violence and misconceptions about rape – as well as renewed action to improve VAWG’s general police culture to support victims to come forward.” and to ensure that they are treated with care(and) respect throughout the criminal process”.
Andrea Simon, the director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, welcomed the strategy that she hopes will “place prevention at the heart of all work to end male violence against women”.
She added: “Violence against women is not inevitable… Preventing women and girls from being victimized will always be the best way to tackle this abuse. That is why we welcome sustained focus on working with young people in schools and for changing the attitude and behavior of the public.
“We also welcome the strategy’s commitment to ensuring that all victims’ rights and needs are met, including migrant women, where more needs to be done to ensure safe reporting routes for victims and survivors to report abuse without fear are to be detained or removed from the UK.
“The demand for specialist women’s services in London has skyrocketed as a result of the Covid pandemic and will be significantly impacted by the cost of living crisis. It is therefore vital that this strategy provides sustainable funding for the life-saving specialized services that women rely on, including those of and for black women and minorities, the deaf and disabled and other marginalized survivors of violence and abuse.”
Grace Williams, leader of Waltham Forest Council, said: “In the UK, on average, a woman is murdered by a man every three days, not to mention the countless others who are abused every day.
“Every Londoner has a role to play in ending violence against women and girls, from understanding the services that support survivors to tackling misogyny in all its forms.”