UK home secretary outlines steps to tackle violence against women

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said on Wednesday that she was publishing a new strategy to tackle violence against women and girls, which include reviewing options to limit the use of non-disclosure agreements in cases of sexual harassment.

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A new online tool called StreetSafe will be launched shortly which will enable people to anonymously pinpoint locations where they feel unsafe and say why, Patel wrote in a piece published in The Times newspaper.

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The ministry of justice will commission a 24/7 rape and sexual assault helpline, she wrote.

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“The first ever top cop for Violence Against Women and Girls will report to the National Policing Board, which I chair. They will be the point of contact for every police force to share best practice and monitor progress in tackling these crimes”, Patel said, outlining her plans in The Times.

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There will also be a “Safety of Women at Night” fund, and more money for specialist support services, including helplines to tackle issues such as revenge porn and stalking, Patel said in her article.

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“And the vile, barbaric practice of “virginity testing” is going to be criminalised,” she wrote, adding that this year she will come up with a specific strategy aimed at tackling domestic abuse.

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A government report this month said that between March 2019 and March 2020, 1.6 million women in England and Wales experienced domestic violence.

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