Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London and Jenny Jones, Green London Assembly Member, have today visited the dedicated one-stop shop for sufferers of domestic violence at the Stratford Advice Arcade, Newham, to see the comprehensive support on offer for local residents who are suffering from abuse at the hands of their partners.
The surgery, which first opened its doors in May 2011, aims to help vulnerable women, and in some cases, men, in dealing with threatening situations before they result in physical abuse. Visitors to the drop-in sessions can meet with representatives of Newham’s police community safety unit, Asian Women’s Aid, East London Black Women’s Organisation, Newham Action Against Domestic Abuse and TV Edwards Solicitors to access the help and advice they need.
Today’s visit coincides with the UN International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, an annual event which seeks to raise awareness of violence against women and girls across the world. In London alone, there have been some 46,000 incidents of domestic violence over the last twelve months, with domestic homicide accounting for over 25 per cent of murders in the capital .
Speaking during the visit, Jean, a strong campaigner against domestic violence, said: “On average, two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a current or former partner. On average, one incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute. Yet despite these devastating statistics, research by Women’s Aid reveals that 60 per cent of refuge services are now operating without a single penny of council funding, significantly reducing lifesaving services for those who experience violence in the home. Furthermore, the Government’s draconian spending cuts have withdrawn crucial support for some 70,000 vulnerable women and children .
“We know that women are at greater risk of domestic violence and abuse during times of economic recession. The Government has responsibility to ensure that vital support services, such as the domestic violence surgery at the Stratford Advice Arcade, are adequately funded, prepared and able to cope with incidents of emotional and physical abuse that can have such a shattering impact on people’s lives. We should all be able to live a life free from violence and abuse.”
Jenny said: “Organisations like this do very valuable work in our city, providing vital support to those most in need. The priority for those in government is to do far more to decrease abuse in all its forms.
“There must but a concerted effort to raise levels of education about these issues and, crucially, to focus on creating opportunities for work, housing and childcare within the capital.”
Notes to Editors
1. For further information on domestic violence statistics in London, visit: http://www.met.police.uk/csu/domestic_violence.htm
2. Women’s Aid is the national domestic violence charity that helps up to 250,000 women and children every year. For more information on public spending and domestic violence services, visit: http://www.womensaid.org.uk/domestic-violence-press-information.asp?itemid=2599&itemTitle=Women%92s+Aid%92s+survey+reveals+fear+that+over+half+of+refuge+and+outreach+services+could+face+closure§ion=0001000100150001§ionTitle=Press+releases