WEP Greater Manchester Press Release
Press release for immediate release: 28.04.20
Greater Manchester Women’s Equality Party calls for emergency domestic abuse measures to protect women during lockdown
The Greater Manchester branch of the Women’s Equality Party has called on Mayor Andy Burnham to protect women and children across the region who are being subjected to domestic abuse during lockdown. This call comes as multiple support helplines both regionally and nationally have reported a worrying surge in calls.
In a letter sent to the Mayor, the Women’s Equality Party outline the following emergency measures:
- Deliver a dedicated communications campaign, which educates and informs individuals about the potential signs of domestic abuse
- Make additional funding available to women and girls’ specialist services so they can continue to operate during lockdown to meet high levels of demand
- Urgently release additional accommodation to refuge services to ensure that no woman is turned away during this crisis regardless of means or immigration status
- Ensure Greater Manchester Police acts swiftly, using domestic violence protection orders (DVPOs) to remove perpetrators from their homes and, most importantly, acting to enforce any breaches of those orders
Tabitha Morton, Women’s Equality Party spokesperson for Ending Violence Against Women & Girls, says: “We welcome the work already undertaken by the Mayor to meet the needs of women and girls across Greater Manchester and for his continuing work and commitment to raising awareness about the growing threat of domestic violence and abuse across the region at this difficult time.”
“However, the home is not a safe place for everyone. Victims of domestic abuse, most of whom are women, have been made much more vulnerable by lockdown. We cannot allow them to be forgotten or become invisible during this time or as we emerge from this crisis.”
“In the last few weeks, we have seen schools closed, railways nationalised, ‘low skilled’ workers rightfully renamed key workers and so much more. If our elected politicians have the political will to make these changes, they should surely have the political will to protect women and children from the violence they face in their own homes.”
Notes to editors
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- An estimated 1.6 million women a year experience domestic abuse.
- 64% of refuge referrals were turned away last year.
- Funding for refuges has been cut by 50% on average since 2011.
- DVPOs are emergency non-molestation and eviction notices which can be issued by the police to a perpetrator following a domestic abuse incident. It is effective immediately from the time of issue. Within 48 hours of the DVPN being served on the perpetrator, a magistrates’ court must hear a police application for a DVPO. DVPOs are civil orders that allow the police and magistrates’ courts to put immediate short-term protective measures in place for victims without the need to charge the perpetrator. Protective measures include preventing a perpetrator from contacting a victim and from going or returning to the victim’s home, for up to 28 days.