The Istanbul Convention on Violence Against Women was signed by the UK government in June 2012, but without ratification this signature is meaningless. The U.K. is currently paying lip-service to the idea that women deserve to live lives free from violence and discrimination; only with ratification would we be legally bound to make it happen.
We can’t afford to be smug; in our so-called civilized society the statistics are appalling and speak for themselves: 85,000 women raped every year, over 400,000 sexually assaulted, 2 women a week killed by a partner or ex-partner. Recent news has revealed an unimaginable scale of abuse and exploitation of vulnerable young girls in major cities and towns across the U.K. Meanwhile austerity measures have resulted in funding cuts for the most vital support services and refuges.
The Istanbul Convention is comprehensive in its measures of prevention, protection and prosecution, and it joins the dots between all factors conducive to violence against women, including education and media representation:
“… it requires Parties to encourage the private sector, the ICT sector, and the media, to set guidelines and self-regulatory standards to enhance respect for the dignity of women and thus contribute to preventing violence against them.”
No More Page 3 wholeheartedly supports the work of IC Change U.K. in holding the government to account in fulfilling its promise to commit to ending violence against women and girls. We call on the government to ratify the Istanbul Convention and we urge everyone to sign this urgent petition.