Domestic violence happens every day, not just in the Archers, and it’s time to act
The widespread commentary about domestic violence in Britain prompted by last night’s episode of BBC Radio 4’s drama The Archers - in which character Helen Titchener stabbed her abusive husband - is an opportunity for the government to follow the lead of the Women’s Equality Party and introduce policies that can stop this scourge.
“Helen Titchener’s experiences sadly reflect the everyday reality for tens of thousands of women in the UK,” said Sophie Walker, leader of the Women’s Equality Party (WE) and its London Mayoral candidate. “WE have put prevention, protection, support and justice for survivors at the heart of our policies and any politicians serious about their jobs should do the same.”
“In London alone WE know that 146,000 incidents of domestic violence were recorded last year in London alone. These are terrifying figures. The Women’s Equality Party will not rest until violence against women and girls has been eliminated.”
The Archers storyline has shone a spotlight on coercive control and domestic violence and abuse, developing over the course of two years. The story came to a climax last night when Helen stabbed her abusive husband.
“Fictional representations of these issues, such as in The Archers, helps bring attention to a problem that is too often ignored,” Walker said. “It is worth noting too that the vast majority of people killed as a result of domestic violence are women murdered by their husbands or partners - a rate of two a week.”
The Women’s Equality Party is pleased to see that £90,000 has been raised for domestic violence charity Refuge as a result of Helen’s story, highlighting the need for proper funding for support services. One of the party’s key policy proposals is to ringfence funding for domestic violence and abuse services, and create a fund – more than £800m by 2018-19 – to support the legal aid budget, restoring half of the cuts made in 2012.
“WE are the only party who are making the eradication of domestic violence and abuse a political priority,” Walker said.
Published April 04, 2016