Ending Violence Against Women: Strategy Evaluation and Recommendations

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The Aim of the Essay

Violence is defined as the act of intentional behaviours which involve physical force against an individual or a group of persons with the intent to consciously or unconsciously cause harm in forms of deprivation, maldevelopment, psychological harm, physical injuries, or death (Home office, 2013). Ending Violence Against Women and Girls (2016-2020) strategy has been put in place to ensure that women should not live in fear of violence, and that every girl should have the opportunity to grow up knowing that she is safe to live the life she wants. This report will critically analyse this strategy by studying the weakness and strength of how effective the ending violence against women and girl’s strategy is and if there is any way the strategy can be improved further.

Background of the Study

During the year 2010 when the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls strategy had first been produced, there were around 392,000 incidents of domestic violence against women and girls according to the home office statistics in England and Wales (Smith, 2011). The Ending Violence Against Women and Girls stated that since 2010 the occurrence of domestic and sexual violence and abuse had dropped according to a crime survey in England and Wales, and in 2014/15 there was an increase in reporting for violence against women and girls (HM Government, 2016). However, statistics from the crime survey for England and Wales estimated 1.2 million women and girls between the ages of 16-59 years still experienced domestic abuse in the year ending March 2014 (Flatley, 2017). This shows a staggering increase from 2010 to 2014.

Ending violence against women and girls is the strategy created in 2010 to tackle abuse and support victims to recover and to deter perpetrators (HM, Government, 2016). The strategy required the Clare’s Law to be put in place alongside it so that women were able to find out if their partners had a history of violence, while also introducing a new offence of forcible and controlling behaviour which can be negatively life changing to many women (May, 2016). In 2010, when the ending violence against women and girl’s strategy had been created the main approaches set out were, prevention, providing of services and pursuing perpetrators (HM Government, 2016). To examine this report there will be a clear look into the effectiveness and usefulness of the approaches set out to see whether or not the aims of the strategy have been achieved.

The aims of the strategy are to support victims who have been through sexual abuse and domestic violence so that they are able to make full recoveries and become independent, while also being able to deter the perpetrators as well as giving support to the victims’ families so they live free of violence and abuse (HM Government, 2016). One of the main actions to be taken from the strategy is to educate and challenge young children and adults about being in a healthy relationship, abuse and that consent is crucial (ref). The reason for this being one of the main actions is due to statistics representing that one in five under 18s visit adult sites in the United Kingdom (Ybarra, 2005) and research shows that viewing pornography at a young age can be a harmful effect on the sexual developments, beliefs and relationships of young adults (Itzin, 2000; Russell, 1990; Simmons, Lehmann, and Colliér-Tenison, 2008).

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Preventing Violence and Abuse

Preventing violence and abuse is a subject in this strategy which looks into the ideology that the cause of violence against women and girls is due to the gender inequality, social norms and attitudes which discriminate women and girls across all societies (Chesler, 1978). Individuals searching sites such as pornography at a young age can impact the way they sexually develop and it could cause them potential harmful effects on their beliefs and relationships too (Itzin, 2000; Russell, 1990; Simmons, Lehmann, and Colliér-Tenison, 2008). Pornography sites tend to show the role of a women being a sexual object for the gratification of a man as they have dominance and power of the girl while partaking in sexual acts (Wright and Donnerstein, 2014). This can affect the way males view women through adult sites as the women are being classified into lower positions in society, while also being possibly downgraded to being good for only sexual gratification (Fredrickson and Roberts, 1997). This can further lead to women and girls experiencing violence as males are seeing through adult sites that men are using aggressive pornography acts on the females they perceive as sexual objects. Therefore, to prevent individuals believing the way women are portrayed in sites such as pornography is normal, the ending of violence against women and girl’s strategy stated the best way forward would be to educate and challenge young people about relationships, abuse and consent (HM Government, 2016). To put this into action the violence and abuse against women and girls the strategy intended to work with organisations such as the Personal, Social and Health Education system to ensure that the schools had full access to the highest quality and effectiveness of the resources for teaching healthy relationships to individuals (HM, Government, 2016). This area of the strategy can be observed as a welfare-based policy as it seeks to work with the those who are most at risk of potentially being in a violence centred situation, in order to educate them about the dangers.

Feminist, Brownmiller (1975), stated that rape and violence is the process of intimidation by which all men like to keep the women in fear. Brownmiller’s (1975), rape and violence explanation focuses on the dominance and power men have against women. In a study of domestic violence by Dobash and Dobash (1979), it was stated that the thought behind being violent against women and girls was mainly due to the idea that men like to keep a women in her place to present to them who the powerful and dominant one is, as being dominant was a fantasy to males (Chesler, 1978). This thought process can be gained through individuals watching adult sites which show low or no respect to women and instead portray control and supremacy. Therefore, the prevention of violence against women and girls being taught through education can be a positive impact on young individuals as they will have the ability to learn about healthy and equal behaviours in a relationship instead of controlling behaviours. An additional method the strategy put in place to prevent violence against women and girls was an, relationship abuse campaign that continuously built the awareness of young teenagers to key issues such as consent and online appearances of abuse (HM Government, 2016). This would support prevention as the campaign was used for wider public awareness to represent that violence and domestic abuse spreads outside incidents of physical violence, and that patterns of psychological manipulation and control can also be harmful.

Provision of Services

Provision of services, is a subject in this strategy which focusses on supporting victims who have experiences violence and abuse. The approach to provision of services for women and girls who have experienced violence and abuse is not set as there can be multiple ways a victim will need support these being: mental health support, housing provisions, security and survival (HM Government, 2016). However, the ending violence against women and girls strategy have a target to be able to meet the victim’s needs and to be able to achieve those needs they are committed to working with other organisation such as the NHS and the Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) to ensure there is further prevention against women who are forcefully married and have experienced violent behaviour. Statistics show that there is on average 24 individuals per minute who are victims of rape and psychical violence, this is more than 12 million people over the course of a year (National Domestic Violence Hotline, 2020). So, to support these vast amounts of victims who have experienced violence, the strategy suggested that refuges and rape and violence support centres are a proven source of support, however, meeting the needs of the victims by increased disclosure and better identification of abuse earlier on will ensure that far less victims go through repeated abuse (HM Government, 2016). To be able to accomplish this outcome, the strategy set out to make clear expectations of local services. The provision of services area of the ending violence against women and girl’s strategy, represents that the most effective method they potentially have to support victims of violence is through local spaces. This could be of use to most victims as where they are familiar of in local areas could make it easier for them to approach and ask for support in finding a way out, or if there already has been a way out it would be simpler for them to get guidance on their mental health around their local areas.

Alice Walker (1983), feminist theorist suggested that the reason why women and girls stay in relationship which they are experiencing violence in is due to fear of retaliation, stalking, further violence occurring, need for financial support, concern for the wellbeing of their children, desire to stay in their own home and a lack of social, family or community networks. Judith Herman (1998), also suggested that the main reason why a women will remain in a violent relationship is due to a surviving strategy, as abusers have the control of giving them basic needs. If issues such as supporting the women and girls to be able to survive alone on basic needs are dealt with by the ending violence against women and girls’ strategy, there could be higher chances that they do not return back to their violent relationships. Therefore, this will increase the support victims are receiving as they are able to become independent through the scheme in this strategy. However, the main risk factor of being subjected to violence is being a women (Herman, 1998, Horley, 2000), suggesting that this could become a barrier which outlines how effective victim support can be as the women is always preyed upon for simple being a women. This aspect of the strategy brings in the difficulties there could be while trying to support victims of violence as the victim has to be willing to leave the relationship.

Pursuing Perpetrators

Pursuing Perpetrators is an area in this strategy which focuses on looking at those who commit the crime of violence against women and girls. Although, the strategy was built to end violence against women and girls, the strategy also worked on stopping violence and abuse occurring in the first place by bringing the offender to justice (HM Government, 2016). The aim of pursuing the perpetrator is to ensure that they are taken away from any children that they may have a negative influence on, as well as other vulnerable people from becoming offenders. According to the HM Government (2016), review there has been an increase in reporting crimes of violence to the police, as 2014/15 had the highest levels of ever recorded violent offence crimes. The action taken for this aim by the ending of violence against women and girls strategy is to investigate and strongly focus on every report of violence so that it is treated as a serious matter from the time it is reported up until it is thoroughly checked through till the end (HM Government, 2016). One way in which the pursuing perpetrator approach may work with supporting victims of violence and ending violence against women and girls is through the new introduction of the domestic abuse offence of coercion and controlling behaviour being referred to as an offence. This is an effective method made by the strategy as not only does it work on helping victims but it also works on deterring perpetrators so that there is less victims in the forcible future. It is also effective as it gives the opportunity for everybody to be able to have a clean slate, which could increase the chances of it reoccurring less often if the perpetrator has something to look forward too as well.


In conclusion, the main points explored in this report were the prevention of violence and abuse, which stated that the main reasons for violence against women and girls were based on gender inequality. This statement is supported as there are many aspects which downgrade women such as pornography so to tackle that area, education given to young people would be crucial as they would have a wider knowledge on relationships, abuse and consent. Provision of services, further supported the prevention of violence against women as it gave women higher abilities to leave so that they did not feel dependant on the abusers as that was the main reason Judith Herman (1998) and Alice Walker (1983), believed to have been why they stayed in those violent relationships. The pursuing of perpetrators, would be the ultimate accomplishment, because if the perpetrators are taken out of the issues in the first instance then there would be no violence against women and girls. There was a certain limit of research that could be made with this report as the strategy remained all under one file with very few other recommendation to look through elsewhere. The ending violence against women and girl’s strategy has been out together in a fairly understandable manor where many things have been spoken about to be able to tackle the issues of violence. However, many issues were not dealt with quickly enough as there was continuous need of restructuring the strategy.   

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