Ed Davey calls for Royal Commission to look at ways of ending men’s violence against women and girls

Following yesterday’s sentencing of Sarah Everard’s murderer and further revelations about the Metropolitan Police, Ed Davey, has called for a Royal Commission into male violence against women and girls and for misogyny to be immediately declared a hate crime.

Ed said:

Enough is enough. Since Sarah Everard’s tragic death, 80 women have allegedly been killed at the hands of men. It is time to treat this issue with the most serious response possible.

The undermining of the authority of the police around the safety of women means that only the most senior form of inquiry into this matter will do.

Alongside immediate action to make misogyny a hate crime, a Royal Commission is the best way to bring long lasting change.

The Conservatives promised a Royal Commission in their 2019 manifesto to look into the criminal justice system, in their first year in office. While they failed to deliver then, they should now establish a Commission with a more focused remit, specifically into men perpetrating violence against women and girls.

Violence by men against women and girls is like a pandemic and should be treated with the same attention and urgency. After so many heartbreaking events this year alone it beggars belief that too many women still feel unsafe just walking alone. We can’t live in a country where half of the people in it feel unsafe and under threat both in the street and for too many, tragically, in their own homes.

Our criminal justice system is badly failing women, and the Government must act with urgency to do more to support survivors and prevent violence.

Just after Sarah Everard’s murder in March, the Scottish Liberal Democrats called for a Commission to be established to look at preventing violence against women and girls in all its forms, to report in the first year of the Parliamentary term. The Scottish Government was initially positive about the idea but has since become more dismissive.

Our editor Caron Lindsay wrote about this recently:

These issues cut across the whole of Government, from education (over 90% of girls experience sexism and being sent unwanted explicit images), to housing (helping those in the sector identify and support victims of domestic abuse and help them stay in their own homes if it is safe for them to do so, from justice given the pitiful number of successful rape prosecutions to social security to tackle poverty (they could start by retaining the extra £20 per week for Universal Credit and getting rid of the wicked two child limit and rape clause) and employment to tackle sexual harassment at work. And you can add in planning to think about how you create safer communities. You need joined up thinking to bring all those strands together into a proper strategy.

We felt that this would be a way of signalling to women that we took their concerns seriously. It would also keep the issue high on the agenda. It seems to have disappeared at the moment and I’d rather it reappeared because we were doing something about it rather than more tragic events.

In the wake of Sarah Everard’s murder, really useful conversations were being had in homes across the country, with a greater understanding of how life was for women. Wendy Chamberlain described her daughter telling her son that she was being cat-called.

It is good to see that Ed is taking this up at a UK wide level.

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