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Campaigners demand more funding and tough action to end violence against women and girls

WOMEN’S rights campaigners demanded more funding and tough action to end of violence against women and girls today on the anniversary of Sarah Everard’s death.

In a new report, the End Violence Against Women Coalition (Evaw) said that while 2021 had sparked a national conversation on violence against women and girls (VAWG) following the murders of Everard, Sabina Nessa and others, a different approach to the government’s current commitments was needed.

It called for significant investment in prevention, including through comprehensive relationships and sex education in schools and multiyear public campaigns.

Evaw director Andrea Simon said: “For a moment last year, it felt as if government was listening and that there was finally an opportunity for meaningful action to end and prevent VAWG.

“Instead, we have seen a series of superficial and short-sighted measures narrowly focused on keeping women safe on the streets, when we know there is a real need to tackle the attitudes that drive men’s VAWG.

“These measures have been rolled out alongside the erosion of women’s rights via the Policing Bill, the Nationality and Borders Bill, planned changes to the Human Rights Act, and other harmful pieces of policy and legislation that will further entrench inequality and leave women with little recourse to justice.”

Ms Simon also called on the government to support all women’s rights, including migrant, black and minoritised women.

The report was published ahead of International Women’s Day and on the anniversary of Everard’s death.

In a statement, her family said that they have been “overwhelmed” by the public’s support.

“Sadly, Sarah is not the only woman to have lost her life recently in violent circumstances and we would like to extend our deepest sympathy to other families who are also grieving,” they said.

Campaign group the Urban Angels organised a walk in “memory of victims of gendered violence” in south London last night, finishing at Clapham Common, near where Everard went missing and her vigil last year was attacked by the police.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that responding to VAWG was not enough and prevention was needed, while PM Boris Johnson said perpetrators must be held accountable.

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