Overall Violence Against Women and Girls was the dominant theme in our lobbying and policy work in 2023. In a survey launched in Spring, VAWG was identified as the major issue that respondents wanted to see the Lobbyist work on, and in truth it has been a major focus of our work all year. This is likely to continue in 2024.
In December, the Women’s Policy Group NI launched our second piece of dedicated research on VAWG. After Violence is a report that grew from a survey that we ran in the late summer, partially to inform our response to the TEO Draft Strategy, as well as to a Westminster Women & Equalities Committee inquiry into the escalation of VAWG, and another piece of work on the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. In the event we received a large number of testimonies and felt that the best thing to do was to produce a full report, summarising the quantitative and qualitative observations, and ending with a series of recommendations. You can read the full report here, and it was launched as part of the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.
The Women’s Policy Group joined with our colleagues across the sector to compile an evidence submission to the GREVIO Inquiry, which examines the UK’s compliance with the Council of Europe Treaty known as the Istanbul convention, which sets out the standards as to how states should approach violence against women and girls. This was a significant piece of work that collates a lot of information from our original research, Women’s Aid focus groups and more. You can read the full submission here, and in January we will have an opportunity to meet with the team and feed into their report on the UK.