Posts Tagged ‘domestic violence’

Convictions for violence against women and girls in UK hit record high

New figures show England and Wales witnessed an alarming level of convictions for violent crimes against women and girls in 2014.

According to the figures released by the Crown Prosecution Service, 78,773 people were convicted of violence against women, up 16.9% from figures released in the previous year.

The cases include a wide range of sexual offences, child abuse, domestic violence and honor-based violence. However, a majority of those convicted were involved in domestic abuse (68,601)n followed by rape (2,581), sexual offences (7,591) and child abuse (7,469).

The data has also cited an increasing number of successful prosecutions. Accordingly, 107,100 gender related cases were prosecuted over the past 12 months. The majority, nearly 60% of the defendants were in the 25-59 age group. However, there were also defendants as little as 10 years old.

“I think what’s happening is that the society in terms of child protection reporting has really pushed up the number of prosecutions. The pressure on the authorities to actually address survivors’ account and children account has increased absolutely phenomenally in couple of years. So, what we are seeing now is the outcome of that pressure to get justice for survivors’, Liz Davies, Reader in Child Protection at London Metropolitan University told Press TV.

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I help women get out of arranged marriages

One day in March 2011, Fraidy Reiss went to her lawyer’s office to close on a house. The prosaic routine of paperwork somehow diminished her sense of accomplishment. Not even the seller was present to hear what she yearned to say.

Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained At Last, a nonprofit group that helps women extricate themselves from arranged marriages.

Fraidy Reiss, founder of Unchained At Last, a nonprofit group that helps women extricate themselves from arranged marriages. Photo: New York Times


She was only buying a small patch of lawn in a blue-collar neighbourhood. Yet she and her two daughters had already named the place “Palais de Triomphe,” palace of triumph. The house symbolized her liberation from an arranged marriage, threats of violence at the hands of her estranged husband, and indeed the entire insular community of stringently Orthodox Jews among whom she had spent her entire life.

In that moment of emancipation, Reiss also felt the sudden, unbidden summons of obligation.

“The house meant that I’ve gotten to the other side,” she recalled. “I wanted to do something to give back. I wanted to use my pain to help others in the same situation. And, selfishly, I thought that would help me heal.” Four years later, on a blustery morning early this month, Reiss, 40, stood in a classroom at Rutgers University in Newark telling her story to three dozen lawyers. She spoke with well-practiced pacing and emphasis – childhood in Brooklyn, coerced betrothal in her teens to a man she barely knew, and then the harassment and stalking and death threats, all of it documented in court papers. Finally, there was college and therapy and, after 15 years of marriage, divorce.


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Domestic violence and forced marriage survivors demand Welsh Government educate school children on healthy relationships

When Rachel Williams’ husband first hit her she convinced herself it was a one-off, she was to blame, he loved her and it wouldn’t happen again.

It did happen again and continued to happen for 18 years until, in 2011, Darren Williams burst into the hairdressers where she worked and blasted her in the legs with a double-barrelled shotgun.

After trying to kill her, Rachel’s husband then killed himself.

“I was in an abusive relationship for 18 years that began when I was only 17,” Rachel, from Newport, said.

“I was about 19 and seven months pregnant when Darren was first violent with me. He lifted me off the floor by my throat and didn’t drop me until I was blue in the face.

“After he would hurt me Darren would apologise and tell me he loved me, that he couldn’t live without me and that he would kill himself if I left.

“I didn’t know any different. Domestic violence was all I’d known.”

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Campaigners threaten to withdraw support for domestic violence bill

Campaigners for a law to protect women from violence and domestic abuse are threatening to withdraw their support unless the Welsh Government makes changes to the bill. Wales Violence Against Women Action (WVAWA) wants the bill to include provision for a specially trained teacher in every school in Wales to deal with issues such as sexual violence and forced marriage.


The Welsh Government says the bill aims to end all forms of domestic abuse


It comes on the day that ministers meet to discuss the legislation and consider recommendations. The new law will put an obligation on councils and health boards to have strategies for ending gender-based violence.

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Forced marriage ruins the lives of too many girls, so we’re working to end it

The summer sees an increase in girls from the UK being forced into marriage abroad. This can’t just be fixed at our borders

For most of us, the summer holidays are something to look forward to; a time when we can get away from it all and relax. But for some girls from UK diaspora communities, the summer is the beginning of a nightmare, when they return to their home country to visit family, only to find themselves getting married. The UK government’s forced marriage unit, set up to support girls and women at risk, sees double the number of cases reported during the summer holidays. This year the coalition is raising awareness of this by issuing “Marriage: it’s your choice” cards, which provide help and information for potential victims, signposting them to confidential advice. We are also reminding young people that they can speak to police or airline staff if they find themselves at an airport with nowhere to turn.

An Indian girl covers herself with her mother's sari

‘In the developing world, one in three girls will be married by the time they reach the age of 18.’ Photograph: Kevin Frayer/AP

But this isn’t a problem that can simply be fixed at UK borders. While our campaign to raise awareness in the UK is necessary, we are also encouraging an international approach to tackle this problem. In the developing world, one in three girls will be married by the time they reach the age of 18, with the highest rates in south Asia and Africa. Girls as young as eight are being forced into marriage, often with men decades older than themselves. The UN predicts that more than 140 million girls will become child brides by 2020 if current rates of early marriage continue. Girls who are forced into marriage are often trapped in poverty with no means to lift themselves out. These girls are robbed of an education, vulnerable to death in childbirth and at a greater risk of domestic violence and contracting HIV. Early marriage is also inextricably linked with girls suffering domestic abuse and being coerced into sex. Put simply, it endangers life.


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