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'Together We Can End Violence Against Women & Girls - a strategy' by Mind Map: 'Together We Can End Violence Against Women & Girls - a strategy'
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'Together We Can End Violence Against Women & Girls - a strategy'

Evidence Based Policy? / Does the strategy conform to neoliberal / managerial 'evidence' based problem-solving approaches as opposed to political driven change?

What evidence is used?

Statistical evidence to support the claims of VAWGs is from then BCS, for example the strategy references Walby & Allen saying 'around half of all women and girls in England & Wales could recall being victims of violence over their lifetime'. However, this can be problematised in two ways (excluding the temporal gap between the data collection in 2001 and the strategy launch in 2009); i) What Walby & Allen actually say is that 'over 45% of women and 26% of men aged 16-59yrs could recall being subject to domestic violence (abuse, threats or force), sexual victimisation or stalking, at least once in their lifetime). Therefore the Walby & Allen figure exclude the experience of 'girls', commonly defined as those under 16yrs. ii) The strategy talks about experiences of 'violence', but in quoting Walby & Allen, the types of violence they refer to are specific, and do not include experience of 'public violence' - this is implicit in the strategy, but not made explicit with a discussion  of the distinctions between public and private violences.  

What evidence is in the process of being gathered as part of the strategic agenda?

What does the statistical evidence presented say?

i) half of all women & girls recall experiencing violence in their lifetime; ii) Nearly 1million women experience at least one incidence of domestic abuse each yr; iii) Close to 10,000 women are sexually assaulted every week; iv) At least 750,000 children a year witness domestic violence; v) Most men and teenage boys are not violent towards their partners and would condemn those who are; vi) BCS shows a 64% reduction in the number of incidents of DV in Eng & Wales since 1997; vii) CPS figures show 2005/06 - 2007/08 the conviction rate for DV rose from 60% to 69%, with the number of prosecutions increasing from 49,782 to 63,819; viii) CPS figures show that from 2006/07 to 2007/08  conviction rate for rape increased from 55% to 58%, with the number of cases prosecuted rising from 3,264 to 3,503; ix) More than 1/4 women in Eng & Wales (4.8million) since age of 16yrs has experienced at least one incidence of DV; x) Of the 88% of young people in intimate partner relationships, 33% of girls reported some form of sexual partner violence; xi) 2008 Forced Marriage Unit recieved 1600+ calls to its helpline on suspected incidents of forced marriage; xii)Estimated to be around 80,000 people involved in prostitution in UK; xiii) Widely quoted to be 12 honour-related murders per year; xiv) 3.7 million women in Eng & Wales have been sexually assaulted at some point since aged 16yrs; xv) Around 10,000 women are sexually assaulted & 2000 women raped every week; xvi) 34% of all rapes recorded by the police are committed against children under the age of 16yrs; xvii) In 2003 there were up to 4000 women trafficked for sexual exploitation in the UK; xviii) 20% of women say they have experienced stalking at some point since the age of 16yrs; xix) Estimated 66,000 women in Eng & Wales in 2001 had been subject to genital mutilation; xx)Over half women in prison say thay have suffered DV and 1/3 have experienced sexual assault; xxi) Women are more likely than men to experience all forms of intimate violence, but risks differ for different groups of women, e.g. younger women are more likely to be victims than older women, sub-groups more likely to experience some forms of violence e.g. FGM, forced marraige and 'so-called honour violence' and BME women; xxii) Nearly half the public polled ion HO survey said a woman should be held wholly or partially responsible if she worked as a prostitute and was sexually assaulted or raped; xxiii) A third polled said a woman should be held fully or partially responsible if she was drunk & was sexually assaulted or raped; xxiv)One fifth polled thought it was acceptable in some circumstances for a man to hit or slap his wife or girlfriend in response to her being dressed in sexy or revealing clothing in public; xxv) 13-15yr olds are as likely to experience violence as the over 16yr olds; xxvi) 25% of girls and 18% of boys surveyed reported experiencing some form of physical violence; xxvii) Nearly 75% of girls reported experiencing some form of emotional abuse; xxviii) A third of girls & 16% of boys reported experiencing some form of sexual violence; xxix) Over 75% of girls with an older partner reported experiencing physical violence; xxx) The Offender Assessment System shows that over a 1/4 of male offenders under probation supervision & 17% of male prisoners are DV perpetrators; xxxi) Average reduction of 50% in repeat victimisation for cases reviewed at a MARAC;

What statistical techniques are used and are they appropriate?

What evidence is missing / not invoked?

If 50% of women and girls are experiencing violence at some point in their lifetime, but 'most' men and teenage males are not violent towards their partners, who is committing the violence?

What about 'evidence' which cannot be measured / cannot be measured using the current 'managerial' framework? For example the comparisons made with co-production by NEF in 'The Challenge of Co-Production'

Who is the focus of the strategy & in what capacity?

Women; but only discussed as 'victims' and are rendered passive

Men; i) as 'partners' of women; ii) the majority not being perpetrators, 'most men and teenage boys are not violent towards their partners and would condemn VAWGs'; iii) as active agents of social change; iv) minimal narration of men as perpetrators of VAWGs

Frontline practitioners; as agents of early intervention & subsequent prevention

Local Statutory Agencies; largely responsible for delivery

Cross-Government Departments;


To eliminate VAWGs

To support women and girls as victims

Key Areas

1 - PREVENTION; changing attitudes & preventing violence

2 - PROVISION; helping women & girls continue with their lives

3 - PROTECTION; delivering an effective CJS

Previous strategy; serious violent crime agenda

'Saving Lives, Reducing Harm, Protecting the Public: An action plan for the tackling of violence 2008-11'

Delivery Responsibility

Voluntary Sector

Frontline professionals


Local Strategic Partnerships & Local Area Agreements

Statutory bodies - 'core business'

NHS Operating Framework

Voluntary Sector relationships

Voluntary Sector as delivers of strategy

Voluntary sector as 'partners' in developing policy, e.g. EVAW

Voluntary sector as challengers of official policy / active agents in alternative strategies, e.g. Truth about rape; Million Women Rise; White Ribbon Campaign

FRAMEWORK; confused. VAWGs is not defined soley within a CJS frame. The strategy mentions Human Rights, but does not explicitly place VAWGs within this frame. The strategy references equality, but does not link VAWGs and equality issues, unlike other agencies, for example the UN, 'women's inequality is a cause & consequence of VAW'. The infra-structure supported and further developed by the strategy points to a 'risk management' framing. Note the disparity between the defining and the framing.

Risk Management, e.g. MARACs, SDVCs and IDVAs all manage 'high risk' cases.

No discussion / links to women's equality in other arenas, e.g. political representation, the glass ceiling, income parity, poverty levels, health inequalities etc.

Defining Term; Violence Against Women and Girls. Draws almost exclusively on the UN Human Rights framing; note the disparity between the explicit defining of VAWGs using UN HRs agendas and the missing HRs frame as guiding principles throughout the rest of the strategy, e.g. no explicit recognition of a link between VAWGs and gender equality. Additionally, VAWGs is defined as an 'enduring social problem'

UN Declaration on the Elimination of VAW; 'any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering

UN Convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination against women; 'violence directed at a woman, because she is a woman or acts of violence which are suffered disproportionately by women'

European Convention on Human Rights

The Platform for Action

Women 2000

Beijing +10 Regional Conference

UN Security Counsel Resolutions 1820, 1888 & 1325

Convention on the Rights of the Child

What does the move from defining the 'different' types of violence individually (e.g. domestic violence, sexual assault, rape etc) to an encompassing term 'VAWGs' mean, who uses it and in what context?

ACCOUNTABILITY; the strategy is cross-government and cross-hierarchical in terms of national and local government. However, it also makes clear that responsibility for delivery is local, with national government in a facilitation role.

Single inter-ministerial group

Annual independent review of progress

Annual parliamentary debate

Comparison with other strategies aiming to tackle 'violence'

Hate Crime

'any crime or incident where the perpetrator's hostility or prejudice against an identifiable group of people is a factor in determining who is victimised' and ' any crime or non-crime incident is considered a hate crime if the action is perceived to be motivated by the above by the victim or any other person'

Gang violence

Street violence

Youth violence

Child abuse


Women as victims of public space violence

Women as non-victims of these types of violence, i.e. women are only in gendered narrations in the strategy as victims / potential victims

Same sex relationship violence

men as victims; in what circumstances, severity of injury and motivations for violence

Women as active agents of social change

Naming perpetrators of VAWGs, not just in terms of gender, but in terms of relationships. The only relationship mentioned is 'partners', but the strategy does not name household members, friends, etc.

Popular discourses on VAWGs

HO attitudes survey show little sympathy for victims of violence

Need to investigate other sources of 'attitudinal' evidence on VAWGs

Who was influential in the shaping of this strategy?

Who is the imagined audience for this strategy

In What theoretical perspectives can be utilised in policy analysis?

How does this strategy for England and Wales relate to other VAW strategies?


United Nations

European Union