Ending violence against women and girls

Annual Violence Against Women & Girls report from Crown Prosecution Service

The 11th annual Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG) report published on 26th September 2018 reveals that the number of referrals, prosecutions and convictions for rape cases, and VAWG offences overall, has fallen, despite record numbers of victims and survivors of these crimes now reporting to the police. The number of referrals, prosecutions and convictions for rape-flagged cases has fallen, with a 9.1 per cent fall in referrals from the police and a 23.1 per cent fall in the number of suspects charged.

A full review of the treatment of rape in the justice system is needed

In response to the publication of the CPS’ annual Violence Against Women and Girls report, 20 signatories – including representatives of Equality Now, the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Southall Black Sisters and Rape Crisis – in an open letter to The Guardian, said the fall in rape charges gave “enormous cause for concern when added to [the Guardian’s] investigations”. The letter calls for an independent, end-to-end review of the treatment of rape in the justice system. Read the full letter here

Police demands for potential rape victims' data spark privacy fears

In the third part of a series of reports on rape justice, The Guardian revealed that police are demanding almost unfettered access to highly personal records and data from potential rape victims before pressing ahead with their cases. In some areas, complainants are being asked to disclose health, school and college records, counselling notes and all data from their electronic devices, documents obtained under freedom of information requests show.

Prosecutors urged to ditch 'weak' rape cases to improve figures

The second in The Guardian’s series on rape justice, published on Monday 24th September, revealed that Prosecutors in England and Wales have been urged to take a more risk-averse approach in rape cases to help stem widespread criticism of the service’s low conviction rates. The controversial advice to take a proportion of “weak cases out of the system” has been given to specialist rape prosecutors in training seminars, which has led some staff to fear the service has undertaken an undeclared change in policy.

Funding: The Women's Fund

£500 - £5,000. VCSE. Deadline 1st November 2018. The Women's Fund helps local women in Tyne & Wear and Northumberland to overcome disadvantage, support each other and achieve their potential. The fund recognises that women need and want women only services so that they feel safe, supported and confident when confronted by lack of opportunities, discrimination and abuse. It therefore awards grants to voluntary and community groups that run successful women only projects.

FPA survey: Less than half of people think it’s OK to withdraw sexual consent if they’re already naked

A survey by sexual health charity FPA reveals deeply concerning attitudes about sexual consent that are prevalent across all ages in the UK. FPA is calling for high-quality relationships and sex education (RSE) on consent and better representation of consent in the media after the survey showed a huge disparity between young people’s perception of their knowledge on consent, and their attitudes when presented with real-life scenarios.

The survey found:

Safe and Equal: A Guide on Young People and Meaningful Participation for the Violence Against Women and Girls Sector

This guide aims to provide an overview of the issues to consider when undertaking meaningful participation with young survivors of abuse and multiple disadvantage. The guide is primarily for practitioners working within the Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) sector but may also be of use to funders and commissioners. The contents are focused on working with children and young people, however the principles are similar for working with adults. AVA provide relevant training to accompany this guide. 

Jumping through hoops: How are coordinated responses to multiple disadvantage meeting the needs of women?

In 2017, Agenda and AVA published Mapping the Maze, which provided a broad picture of the support that homelessness, substance misuse, mental health and criminal justice services are providing to women. This report explores the experiences of local areas across the country that are seeking to bring such services together to develop a more coordinated response for individuals facing multiple disadvantage, either using the MEAM Approach or as part of the Big Lottery’s Fulflling Lives programme. 

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