The Guardian reports that more than 100 local councils may be prosecuted for failure to provide adequate services for those experiencing sexual and domestic violence. The Equalities and Human Rights Commission has warned local authorities they need to explain why there is a lack of provision in their areas within the month and if the answer is unsatisfactory face legal enforcement of the people’s rights to adequate services.
This move follows research by End Violence Against Women which showed 1 in 4 local authorities offered no specialised services for women facing violence or abuse. The situation was even more dire for those seeking specialist care for example for minority ethnic women or lesbian and bisexual women.
Trevor Phillips, Head of the EHRC said “Because violence against women is such a major cause of women’s inequality, public bodies should ensure adequate support for women in such circumstances.”
There is also a Women’s Hour discussion on this topic involving Liz Kelly (chair of End Violence Against Women) and Trevor Phillips (Chair of EHRC).