Merseyside’s Police Commissioner has today welcomed a detailed Labour Party Green Paper which sets out plans to end the epidemic of violence against women and girls.
Emily Spurrell has welcomed the Party’s proposals which would toughen existing sentences for perpetrators of rape and stalking, create new specific offences for street sexual harassment and the practice of landlords asking for sex in lieu of rent, as well as introducing bold measures to reverse record low conviction rates for rape.
The wide-ranging, cross-departmental approach sets out a long-term response to tackling the misogyny that underpins the abuse women and girls face at home, in the street, at school, college and university, in the workplace, and online.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “The Government is failing to take enough action to protect women and girls from violence.
“This Green Paper from the Labour Party is very welcome. It sets out clear, effective proposals to deter offenders, prevent crime and increase the safety and security of women in all walks of life.
“I am particularly pleased to see a commitment to improving the support offered to victims through the criminal justice process. This is something I am committed to improving here in Merseyside. I have also laid out my plans to set up a Victims’ Panel to give survivors a greater voice and to establish a region-wide taskforce to tackle violence against women and girls.
“Through these plans, Labour is showing that gender-based violence is top of its agenda. It’s time this government did the same.”
Labour’s proposals include:
- Toughening sentences for rape, stalking and domestic murder, reviewing sentencing for all domestic abuse and introducing whole life tariffs for those who rape, abduct and murder a stranger
- Removing legal barriers that prevent victims of domestic abuse getting the help they need, such as through legal aid and ‘no recourse to public funds’
- Bringing in new custodial sentences for those who name victims of rape and sexual assault
- Introducing a survivor support package to improve victims’ experience in the courts, including fast tracking rape and sexual violence cases, legal help for victims and better training for professionals to give people the help they need
- Introducing new measures for those who face additional barriers to protection and support, such as migrant, Black, Asian and ethnic minority, LGBT+, and disabled women and girls
- Training for teachers to help identify, respond to and support child victims of domestic abuse
- Introducing criminal sanctions for tech executives who do not act fast enough to remove misogynistic abuse on their platforms
- Repealing the rape clause for social security claims, reviewing single payments for Universal Credit and ending the five week wait, to ensure domestic abuse survivors can access the support they need quickly