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2008 National Women's Conference
25 October 2007

Conference is saddened that incidents of domestic abuse are not decreasing and conviction rates, although increasing, in reality remain depressingly low. Eighty nine per cent of those suffering four or more incidents are women and one incident of domestic abuse is reported to the police every minute. Conference acknowledges the hard work that UNISON women have undertaken over the years and continue to do so around domestic abuse issues and more recently the work carried out to ensure that ending violence against women is considered as a wider union issue.

Shocking statistics on the Home Office website include:

1)Domestic violence accounts for 15% of all violent incidents.

2)1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men will be victim of domestic violence in their life time, with women being at greater risk of repeat victimization and serious injury.

3)89% of those suffering four or more incidents are women.

4)One incident of domestic violence is reported to the police every minute.

5)On average 2 women a week are killed by a current or former male partner.

Additionally, we also know that domestic violence remains chronically under reported. Reasons that might be attributed to under-reporting are low conviction rates and poor sentencing. Whilst legislation is imperative in addressing these issues, legislation alone will not change ‘hearts and minds’.

Conference asks the National Women’s Committee to explore working and campaigning jointly with, for example, domestic abuse campaigners, local government departments, the police departments, women’s refuges to send a strong message out to local communities that domestic abuse and violence against women will not be tolerated.

Conference calls upon the National Women’s Committee to work with the NEC, Women’s Aid and other agencies mentioned above, to;

a)Lead on -‘time to draw the line’ campaign, producing a range of publicity materials to drive home the message that domestic abuse will not be tolerated.

b)Work with domestic abuse departments within local government, police, health and other relevant agencies in order to ensure visual materials, including posters, billboard signs and other publicity methods are prominent within the local community.

c)Provide information on the materials produced for the campaign on UNISON’ s website and other format, in order that the materials can be widely accessed and used.