Ministers are facing a furious backlash from angry women who are fed up with feeling unsafe on Britain’s streets.
Boris Johnson has said women must feel their complaints about violence are “properly heard” – and that his Government will make sure it does this.
But there is a difference between hearing somebody and really listening to what they have to say – and many are clamouring for immediate change.
The charter has been drawn up by Nick Thomas-Symonds, shadow Home Secretary, and Jess Phillips, shadow minister for Domestic Violence and Safeguarding.
So here is Labour ’s ten-point charter – backed by the Mirror – to help keep women safe and to end the injustices faced by more than half the population.
1. Action to bring rapists to justice – rape convictions are at an all-time low with just 1.5% of people charged with rape are getting convicted, yet rape reports are up by 35%. We should fast track rape and serious sexual assault cases through the courts and CPS who have been left to wait years for their case to get to trial.
2. New laws to stop harassment – as it stands creeps harassing women on the street are not breaking the law. That makes no sense and we need a new law now.
3. Men who abduct, assault and murder women belong behind bars for life – let’s extend ‘Whole Life’ sentences for anyone found guilty of ‘abduction and sexual assault and murder of a stranger’.
4. Proper support for victims of attacks – create a survivor support package, including a legal help for victims and better training for professionals to give people the help they need.
5. Educate our young people – start a proper education campaign to make sure young boys and girls knows it is never acceptable to abuse or disrespect women- as well as the rules around sexual consent.
6. Longer jail time for rapists and stalkers – some of the sentences handed out for these appalling crimes are a disgrace. Let’s make sure the time fits the crime.
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7. Treat domestic murders seriously – end the injustice that means someone can get a sentence of 10 years less for murdering their partner at home, than for murdering someone on the street.
8. Make abuse of women count – the abuse of women that drives these crimes is not even counted by the police, that needs to change and misogyny should be recognized as the hateful crime it is.
9. Fair access to Domestic Abuse services – no victim turned away from services for domestic abuse because of their background. Helping get support to all those who need it and making sure we can do more to catch perpetrators.
10. It’s not women’s fault – stop the message that women are to blame because of what they wear, when they are out or for not ‘keeping themselves safe’. Time for a proper strategy to catch and punish offenders, challenge behaviour and improve the freedom of all women.