The murder of Sarah Everard earlier this year shocked us all, and highlighted the unacceptable dangers which are faced by women and girls.
The Government responded to the national strength of feeling by reopening its call for evidence on the issue of violence against women and girls. The call for evidence sought views from people with experience of, or views on, crimes considered as violence against women and girls.
This received 160,000 responses within a fortnight; an eight-fold increase on the number of submissions received previously.
The Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy has now been published. It will build on work already being undertaken to improve the criminal justice response to rape, toughen sentences and protection for victims through the Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill, as well as the recruitment of 20,000 more police officers.
Immediate steps will include a new policing lead on VAWG who will report to the National Policing Board, as well as the appointment of two new VAWG Transport Champions looking at issues faced on public transport, in addition to a £5 million Safety of Women at Night fund.
In the longer-term, the strategy includes preventative measures to stop violence from happening in the first place, £3 million will go towards evidence-informed projects which will help understand what works in terms of preventing violence towards women and girls.
An independent reviewer will also be appointed to review management of sex offenders by police, as well as a communications campaign to target perpetrators as well as additional investment for the National Crime Agency to develop cutting-edge methods to identify serial sex offenders.
Support for victims and survivors will also be strengthened, with measures including a 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline to be commissioned.
An additional £1.5 million annually will go towards vital specialist support services and to increase funding for helplines, such as the Revenge Porn Helpline.
Last month the Department for Transport launched a call for evidence on personal safety measures on the street to address how street design could be improved to help people feel safer from harassment, intimidation or unwanted sexual behaviour in public places.
A new online tool called StreetSafe will be set up, and will provide women and girls with a platform to anonymously and quickly pinpoint areas where they have felt unsafe and the reasons for this, such as a lack of CCTV or because of the people nearby.
This information will be used to further build local intelligence as well as being utilised by Police & Crime Commissioners to work with stakeholders including local government in the interests of improving safety and more strategic action.
Henry Smith MP