Stressed young woman in the bedroom.

New strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls in Liverpool

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson has launched a new three-year strategy to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.

Rape, sexual assault, domestic violence, harassment, and many of the other forms of abuse are extremely common, affecting between approximately a quarter and a third of all women during their lifetime, and yet only 15% of serious sexual offences and 21% of partner abuse incidents are reported to the police.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 women and girls in the UK are at risk of and living with the consequences of female genital mutilation, forced marriage, and so called ‘honour-based’ violence.

The document recognises that there are gaps in current services, including:

  • No standard response among organisations
  • Little quality assurance of what works
  • Demand for services outstripping supply
  • A lack of funding, with too much of it short-term
  • Limited support for tackling human trafficking

The strategy sets out a series of ambitions, including a funding review to enable services to plan and develop in the longer term.

It also wants the city to get to a position where there is:

An emphasis on prevention

  • Raised awareness of the issue and where to go for support
  • Raising awareness of controlling coercive behaviour
  • A standardised approach to teaching VAWG in schools
  • Behaviour change programmes
  • Education, awareness and culture change to elicit behavioural change of perpetrators
  • Stopping victim blaming

Increased capacity

  • Use learning from serious case reviews to improve strategic and operational responses
  • Build capacity for services offering support or advocacy to victim/survivors
  • Specialist training for professionals working with victim/survivors

Better support

  • Accessible, inclusive, appropriate coordinated support for all communities
  • Standardise trauma informed support across specialist and other services
  • Take a whole family holistic approach whilst focusing on the needs of the female victim/survivor
  • Survivors’ voice meaningfully embedded into the decision-making process

Mayor of Liverpool, Joanne Anderson, said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a political priority for me – the statistics are really worrying and we simply have to do more.

“It takes real courage for victims and survivors to come forward, but there are currently inconsistencies in the service they receive.

“Furthermore, the organisations that provide vital services have been living from year-to-year because of the way funding is handed out, so we need to find a way to give them long-term stability.

“This strategy is not a panacea: it is a starting point to consult and engage with stakeholders, charitable and voluntary organisations involved in dealing with the issue.

“It’s the first stage in the process of what we plan to do, outlining Liverpool’s ambitions to end gender-based violence and recognising how we can all work together to achieve these aims.

“The strategy is not set in stone, and changes will be made as we move forward and come together as a city to deliver the change that is needed.”

Liverpool Waterfront