Violence Against Women and Girls Debate

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Department: Home Office

Violence Against Women and Girls

Baroness Chakrabarti Excerpts
Monday 4th December 2023

(6 months, 2 weeks ago)

Lords Chamber
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Asked by
Baroness Chakrabarti Portrait Baroness Chakrabarti
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To ask His Majesty’s Government how they propose to prioritise reducing violence against women and girls both domestically and internationally.

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Home Office (Lord Sharpe of Epsom) (Con)
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My Lords, we are absolutely committed to tackling violence against women and girls at home and abroad. We passed our landmark Domestic Abuse Act and are delivering the Tackling Violence against Women & Girls strategy and the Tackling Domestic Abuse Plan to help keep women and girls safe. Internationally, we are making progress through our flagship “What works to prevent violence” programme and pioneering work to end child marriage and female genital mutilation.

Baroness Chakrabarti Portrait Baroness Chakrabarti (Lab)
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I am grateful to the Minister. He will recognise that this Question was tabled in recognition of White Ribbon Day, which was just over a week ago. What additional resources have the Government deployed since last year’s White Ribbon Day to give greater support to victims of sexualised violence in our domestic criminal justice and asylum systems? What support have they given to international mechanisms charged with investigating and prosecuting sexualised violence as a weapon of war?

Lord Sharpe of Epsom Portrait Lord Sharpe of Epsom (Con)
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On noble Baroness’s second question, the Preventing Sexual Violence in Conflict initiative is a key focus for the UK. We are a global leader on this. We have committed £60 million since the launch of this programme in 2012. In November 2022, the UK hosted an international PSVI conference with over 1,000 attendees. A political declaration came out of that, which was endorsed by 53 countries. It sends a clear message that these types of crimes must end and sets out steps on how to achieve that. We have also launched the PSVI strategy, which sets out how the UK will work to drive global action to prevent and respond to CRSV—conflict-related sexual violence—and that includes sanctions. I refer noble Lords to my noble friend Lord Ahmad’s comments on that in June. Regarding the domestic picture, significant amounts of money and resource have been committed. I am sure I will be answering more questions on that shortly.