To coincide with the centenary of the first British women securing the right to vote, Women’s Aid has revived the Right to Vote campaign, which was founded by survivor and campaigner Mehala Osborne, to highlight that in 2018 some women’s voices are still not being heard. Women’s Aid are using this momentous anniversary to call on the government to make the right to vote in safety a reality for all survivors of domestic abuse for life.
From our work with survivors, Women’s Aid found that women who had been the victim of domestic abuse have been silenced for far too long because it was too dangerous for them to sign up to an electoral register, which would reveal their location, and too difficult for them to register anonymously.
As a result of the Right to Vote campaign, the government has committed to expanding the evidence requirements to ensure that refuge managers and health professionals can support anonymous voter registration. But we are now calling on the government to make anonymous registration valid indefinitely, reflecting the on-going risk that domestic abuse can pose to survivors long after a relationship has ended.