Marking this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for new measures to end gender-based violence.
After the murder of Sarah Everard, Scottish Liberal Democrats urged the government to establish a Commission to look at specific measures to prevent violence against women and girls in all its forms. While the Government had initially shown interest, they have not taken this forward.
The party is also calling for:
- An NHS-style public awareness campaign to build public understanding of the drivers behind violence against women;
- An extended Independent Review of Equality Matters in policing as recommended by Dame Elish Angiolini, to include a review of police vetting processes and consideration of misogynistic behaviour;
- New training for those working in education and frontline in public authorities;
- Recognition of misogyny as a hate crime.
Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson Caron Lindsay said:
“Establishing a specific Commission to eradicate gender-based violence would be a way of making sure things get done.
“Women need to see progress. We've been going round in circles for 40 years and it is time for us see solutions across all areas of government. A Commission would bring all this work together.
“The Government cannot just pretend to listen to our voice and then go back to business as usual. In the immediate aftermath of Sarah Everard's murder the Government were open to my proposals but as the media spotlight moved on, they seemed to get cold feet. I hope that on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, they will think again and agree to set up this Commission to report within a year."
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton added:
“Violence against women is a vile violation of basic human rights but I am hopeful that it is one that we can work to eradicate.
“I want to see all of the parties in the Scottish Parliament working together to develop a successful strategy to end gender-based violence. Establishing a Commission would be a step in the right direction, but it needs to happen now. Women and girls cannot wait any longer.”