On average two women are killed every week in England and Wales by a partner or former partner and the police receive a call from a victim of domestic violence every 30 seconds.

Domestic violence affects everyone in society whether directly or indirectly. Women’s Aid believes the UK Government must do all it can to protect survivors of domestic violence so Women’s Aid firmly supports the call for the Government to ratify the Istanbul Convention. Ratifying the convention will mean the Government will have to bring its provisions into force through domestic policy and legislation, this will strengthen the protection of women escaping domestic violence and send a clear signal that the UK will not tolerate violence against women. Women’s Aid has been calling for the Government to protect the national network of specialist domestic violence refuges through the SOS: Save Refuges, Save Lives campaign. This provision would be enshrined in law through article 22 of the Istanbul Convention which specifically states that countries must provide or arrange for specialist women’s support services to all women victims of violence and their children.

By not ratifying the Convention the Government has missed an opportunity to protect the human rights of women in the UK. We strongly urge the Government to make ratifying the Istanbul Convention an urgent priority and show leadership in addressing domestic violence.