Green Party Women

Green MEP calls for safer streets

19 November 2008

Green MEP for the South East Dr Caroline Lucas today spoke out in support of the thousands of women preparing for the annual Reclaim the Night march in London on Saturday, and called for far greater efforts to make our streets safe for women and girls.

This year’s event marks the fifth anniversary of the revived Reclaim the Night marches, which have been growing across the country, with women in a number of UK cities determined to make a stand against gendered violence and rape.

Over 1500 women joined the evening march last year, and organisers from the London Feminist Network and other women’s groups are expecting an even higher turnout for 2008.

Dr Lucas, who is also Green Party Leader, commented: "Gendered violence remains a blight on the lives of women in the UK and across the world. By joining the Reclaim the Night march, women and girls can send a positive and powerful message to demand safer streets at night.

"In the UK, two women every week are killed by a violent male partner, and 1 in 4 women are affected by domestic violence. Each year across the UK 3 million women experience violence, and there are many more who live with the memories of past abuse.

She continued: "It is completely intolerable that in the 21st century, out of every 100 rape cases reported to the police, just six end in the rapist being caught and punished. Not enough is being done to care for the victims, adequately punish the perpetrators, and to make this sort of violence absolutely unacceptable.

"A report by New Philanthropy Capital warns that violence against women is costing British society £40bn a year, but charities which help victims are grossly underfunded. The UK Government must urgently address the funding crisis faced by many specialist support agencies like Rape Crisis centres, which offer enormous support to women when they are most vulnerable."

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