Call for Views in relation to the development of the Strategy to Tackle Violence Against Women and Girls

Consultation opened on 10 January 2022. Closing date 07 March 2022 at 00:01.

Summary

The purpose of this consultation is to seek views with regard to violence against women and girls in our community.

A great deal of work is being done to eradicate violence against women and girls. Despite this there remains more to be done. Between October 2020 and September 2021, seven women were murdered here, and more recent cases mean that eleven women have now been murdered in our community since lockdown began. The Executive has determined that there is a need for a new strategic, whole of government approach to tackle violence against Women and Girls meaningfully; this includes crimes and unwanted behaviour in the physical and online world.

Officials in the Executive Office have been tasked, therefore, with bringing forward a new Strategy- the Equally Safe Strategy (a Strategy to Tackle Violence Against Women and Girls).

Documents

Consultation description

Work has begun on mapping approaches taken across these islands and, initial engagement with the sector has commenced. Officials are also liaising closely with colleagues in Departments here taking forward the development of the Gender Equality Strategy and the new Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy.

Given the obvious and close linkages between the Equally Safe Strategy and the new Domestic  and Sexual Abuse Strategy, being developed by the Department of Justice and the Department of Health, we are issuing a collective call for views to inform the development of the two Strategies albeit with distinct and separate sections in considering key issues.

For the Equally Safe Strategy, this is only the beginning of our public engagement. The responses from this Call for Views will inform surveys and further opportunities to express views which will follow.  In parallel, the Executive Office will be commissioning research to better understand current thinking in this area and to identify and analyse data which will help us to understand more fully how to tackle the problem of violence against women and girls here.  This will also inform the development of that strategy.

The Departments want to engage with those with lived experience; marginalized groups; organisations; practitioners and service providers; academics and researchers and the general public. It is vital that we receive as many comments as possible as they will help to inform the Strategies and ensure that they are well adapted to meet their aims.

The consultation document contains specific questions in relation to both Strategies.

The consultation also incorporates 2 surveys:

  • the Call for Views Public Survey – this survey is open to organisations and individuals aged 16 and above (For those aged under 16 we are asking our partner organisations to facilitate targeted focus group discussions), and
  • the Call for Views Victim Survey, open to victims of domestic and sexual abuse who are aged 16 or over. (For those aged under 16, we are asking our partner organisations to facilitate targeted focus group discussions). It has been designed to ensure that their views and their experiences of accessing support and/or the criminal justice system (if any) are captured.

This Call for Views is open for 8 weeks and will close on Monday 7 March 2022 after which the results will then be analysed by the three Departments.

Engagement events

Online public engagement events and stakeholder focus groups will also be held.

The public engagement events will be held online on:

Date Time
Wednesday 9 February 2pm – 4pm
Thursday 10 February 10am – 12 noon
Tuesday 22 February 2pm – 4pm
Wednesday 23 February 10am – 12 noon
Thursday 24 February 2pm – 4pm

You can book your ticket via the Eventbrite website.

The Departments will contact key stakeholders about the stakeholder focus groups or you can email: CallforViews@justice-ni.gov.uk.

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