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FNF Submission in response to Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy 2021-2024

Here's our submission to the consultation on VAWG Call for Evidence. We hope it will inform the development of the Government strategy, which officially includes male victims of crimes such as domestic abuse.

FNF are under no illusion that there are many people who have experienced terrible abuse. Victims and their children deserve the full protection of the law. They also deserve support. Our experience is in dealing with conflict, domestic abuse and post-separation abuse, specifically in the circumstances of separating families. We support the vision of this strategy as stated in the accompanying information i.e. a "vision is for a society in which people can live without fear of abuse or violence".

You won't be surprised that we have deep concerns that the strategy diminishes the focus and need to support men and boys. We also believe it is unlikely to be effective in supporting women and girls, not least because of its divisive approach. It results in inadequate resources to support men who are victims and their children e.g. through a lack of refuges for men and their children. It also risks creating a culture of systemic bias rather than ensuring that support is available for anyone who needs it by discouraging men from reporting their abuse.

It would be nice to think that our input, that of our members and service users and other organisations will influence policies and begin the process of healing and uniting people. We fear that a continuation of the current strategy will add to social division and support that is needed to achieve the overall stated objectives.

Many of our service users have experienced psychological or other abuse, particularly in the context of family separation. Many end up in family court proceedings. Governemt data suggests that approximately a third of domestic abuse victims are men. We can all debate and dispute relative reporting rates and related statistics. However, whatever the statistics are in relation to women, men and girls and boys, statistics have no place in court where evidence is what is needed. Statistics may help with apportioning resources, but systemic bias is already preventing those from being apportioned fairly.

Click here to download FNF Response to Call for Evidence VAWG Strategy 2021-24

 

ACTION - What you can do

The issues identified need to be recognised and addressed. Please contact your MPs to urge them to acknowledge the issues raised, using your own examples and explaining how it made you feel.  If you don't know who your MP is, you can find out by visiting the following link. The formal 'call for evidence' has now closed, however, you can still ask your MP to maker representations to the relevant Minister(s) as to your concerns and/or some of the ones we highlight in our submission.

Here is an example of a clear and effective letter to an MP.

If you wish, feel free to share with us privately the letter you send along with reply you receive to admin@fnf.org.uk with 'VAWG' in the subject header.

 

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FNF HSSF Kite Mark

Families Need Fathers has been awarded the Help and Support for Separated Families Kite Mark which is a new UK government accreditation scheme for organisations offering help to separated families.

Families Need Fathers work with a range of family law professionals, including Family Law Panel.

FNF are pleased to announce a partnership with MyDaddy who have built this excellent app for the significant proportion of fathers who are now newly sharing parenting after separation.

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