1 woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner - this is why the Women’s Aid rally outside Parliament needs to be on your radar

Everything you need to know about the Women’s Aid Manifesto ahead of the General Election

domestic abuse is an epidemic
(Image credit: Future)

1 woman a week is murdered by a partner or ex-partner.

We are living in a domestic abuse epidemic yet funding for women’s support, social services, and refuge allocations are terrifyingly low. Referrals for women’s refuges have a 66% refusal rate - this means that 66% of all referrals for women and children will not be accommodated, explains Farah Nazeer, CEO of Women’s Aid.

The damning and unacceptable reality is that one woman a week is murdered by a current or former partner. Domestic violence isn’t a ‘women’s issue’. It is a national epidemic.

Liz Mack, chief executive of Advance

This is why Women’s Aid, along with national domestic abuse charities Respect, Rights of Women, and Advance, held a rally at Parliament Square to raise awareness of domestic abuse and increasing violence against women and girls. As Marie Claire UK has previously reported, domestic violence is a hidden crime. We know that across their lifetime, 1 in 3 women are subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner, according to WHO, but the true number of victims is impossible to know because domestic violence is so widely underreported, often as victims worry they won’t be believed.

Currently only 1 in 5 women will ever go to the police. “So many women and children say that the court system was even worse than the abuse they faced by a perpetrator,” says Nazeer, who is calling for the next Government to prioritise the safety of women and children and invest in abuse prevention. “We're calling on the next government to properly fund women’s services, to make it a statutory right for women to have access to community support and refuges,” adds Liz Mack, chief executive of Advance.

Until they put their money where their mouth is all we have is words… ‘Deeds, not words’ - that’s what we want to see

Jo Todd, chief executive of Respect

Ahead of the General Election on July 4th, the charities have united to urge everyone across the UK to come together and end the epidemic of domestic abuse. There’s only two weeks left until the next Government is selected and undecided female voters hold the power to swing the General Election.

The rally, which was attended by Women’s Aid ambassador Alice Liveing, aims to galvanise the soon-to-be elected Government to commit to solving the domestic abuse epidemic. Along with supporting and believing women when they speak out about domestic abuse, Liveing wants men to be better allies and to recognise the signs of abuse.

We at Marie Claire UK are also calling on the Government to commit to the manifesto and help build a society where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.

Domestic abuse will never be solved by a silver bullet. It’s a whole society problem and it needs a whole society response

Farah Nazeer, CEO of Women’s Aid

The 3 key pillars of the Women’s Aid Manifesto

Invest to save

Women’s Aid and colleagues are calling on the Government to fund specialist women’s services to save lives and money.

  • Based on its own recent research, Women’s Aid is calling on the future Government to invest £427 million per year.
  • For every pound invested in domestic abuse services, the public purse would see a saving of at least £9 for every pound invested.
  • This means the domestic abuse sector could save the public purse as much as £23 billion a year.

Support survivors

It is vital that survivors are listened to and believed, knowing that no matter where they turn, they will be supported and protected.

  • Deliver the right response the first time

Prevent abuse

Transform societal attitudes and understanding.

  • In order for us to create a society in which domestic abuse is no longer tolerated, misogynistic and sexist attitudes that underpin it must be challenged and eradicated.  
Mischa Anouk Smith
News and Features Editor

Mischa Anouk Smith is the News and Features Editor of Marie Claire UK.

From personal essays to purpose-driven stories, reported studies, and interviews with celebrities like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley and designers including Dries Van Noten, Mischa has been featured in publications such as Refinery29, Stylist and Dazed. Her work explores what it means to be a woman today and sits at the intersection of culture and style, though, in the spirit of eclecticism, she has also written about NFTs, mental health and the rise of AI bands.