Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Call for Evidence

Summary VAWG post  

We submitted a response to the Government’s Call For Evidence to inform the development of the next Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) Strategy. 

What is the new VAWG strategy? 

The VAWG strategy that will be published next year, aims to ” ensure that we are fully equipped to respond to the changing nature of these crimes; and, most importantly, to place victims and survivors at the heart of our approach”. (Rt Hon Priti Patel MP Home Secretary).  

The Government would like to have more information on the true scale of violence against women and girls’ crimes and their impact. 

A key aim of the call is to capture the voices of those directly affected by violence against women and girls and understand how we can use experiences and learnings to improve our response. 

Fulfilling LSL evidence 

Our evidence represents the experiences and voices of women (the people we support) involved in street-based sex work.  

We believe it was important to respond to the Government consultation because women experiencing multiple disadvantage and who are involved in street-based sex work are especially vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence. 

“When you go to a place like that [drugs service] its horrible anyway and then if you’re a working girl you see people you really don’t want to see when you’re there…All services should have a women’s only space 

Our main findings focused on: 

  • Accessing support  

The people we work with often lack trust in services and in the police, 
which presents a barrier to reporting incidents. 

  • More support is needed  

We believe that more flexible support should be made available for 
survivors. 

  • Sex work and labelling 

We believe that it is dangerous to label all sex work as VAWG. We also 
believe the Nordic Model whereby the purchase of sex is criminalised, 
drives the sex industry further underground making it more dangerous for 
women. 

As such, we oppose the Sexual Exploitation Bill 2019-21 that was introduced to the Houses of Commons in December 2020 and will be publishing a response to this soon.  

“Already there is desperation and violence – what’s going to happen [with a Nordic Model] its going to get worse. There would be more deaths, more unreported crimes” 

We will wait to see what is included in the new VAWG strategy publication to examine and respond timely.  

Download our full response below: