End postcode lottery of violence against women support, City Hall urged

The mayor of London Sadiq Khan has been urged to end the postcode lottery of support for the victims of violence against women and girls (VAWG), a new report has revealed.

Victims of violence against women and girls need more funding for help and support, City Hall has said.

The mayor of LondonSadiq Khan has been urged to end the postcode lottery of support for the victims of violence against women and girls (VAWG), a new report has revealed.

City Hall representatives have called on Mr Khan to commit to funding specialist support services for women and girls everywhere they are needed in London.

London mayor Sadiq Khan. Photo: Getty

Susan Hall, chairman of the London Assembly’s police and crime committee, said: “The stories of harassment and fear shared by thousands of women and girls following the tragic murders of Sarah Everard, Bibaa Henry, Nicole Smallman, and Sabina Nessa were a wake-up call that more needs to be done in making London a safer city.

“The Met Police and the Mayor are right in making it a priority to tackle the horrific harassment, abuse and VAWG face in our city – but more can be done.”

The Conservative assembly member added: “We believe increasing women’s confidence in the Met and improving outcomes for victims will be crucial in ensuring the success of these plans and moving forward in tackling VAWG in our city.”

Susan Hall. Photo: London Assembly

An investigation led by the policing committee into VAWG in the city was launched after the murders of women including Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa.

Meetings with victims and survivors’ groups revealed how sustainable funding for vital support services is still an issue, the report said.

The committee also found the Met needs to work harder to show how it is rebuilding Londoners’ trust and confidence, assembly members also said.

Committee members were told that “overwhelmingly, women have no trust and confidence in the police”, especially disabled, migrant, LGBT+ women or those with poor mental health.

The report, titled Violence Against Women and Girls, was published today (Wednesday, March 23) and made a series of recommendations to the mayor and the Met.

These include:

  • Funding for specialist support services for every woman and girl that needs them;
  • Listening and learning from conversations on VAWG;
  • Specific research on barriers to victims reporting offences should be carried out by the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC);
  • Clear and measurable VAWG targets must be set in the mayor’s police and crime plan and violence against women and girls strategy.

The report is published ahead of a meeting on the issue with the Met at City Hall today.