Headlines: July 8th, 1998

The Public Sector is being encouraged to put violence against women higher on the agenda in a Government announcement of a package of initiatives leading up to a new national strategy on the issue.

It has called on all Chief Constables and local authority leaders to provide details on how they currently help victims of domestic violence.

It is the first time that Government has called on local authorities to provide details of their domestic violence policies, practices and services.

This initiative is one of several in the run up to consultation in the Autumn on a National Strategy to tackle all forms of violence against women. Forty three per cent of assaults on women are due to domestic violence.

Other work in the run up to the national strategy include a circular from the DSS to all housing benefit offices which makes it easier for victims of domestic violence to get help by bringing together relevant rules and regulations, specific attention paid to domestic violence in the Crime and Disorder Bill, which places a duty on local authorities, police to work together to address such crime, and a study commissioned into the accommodation and support available for those fleeing domestic violence.