What the main political parties have pledged to tackle violence against women and girls this General Election

Last week was a busy one with most political parties launching their manifestos. Below we set out what they have got to offer victim-survivors of economic abuse.

Find out more about our key calls in our Manifesto and join our campaign today to help create lasting change for victim-survivors this General Election.

The Conservative Party pledged to:

  • Reform the Child Maintenance Service to prevent noncompliance and introduce new laws to help crack down on non-payment and offer better support to domestic abuse victim-survivors.
  • Toughen sentencing for murders that take place within the context of domestic abuse with new aggravating factors, such as coercive and controlling behaviour.
  • Set the combined household income at which a family will start losing Child Benefit at £120,000 and gradually remove it until household income reaches £160,000, above which families will no longer receive Child Benefit

Read the full Conservative Party’s Manifesto on its website.

The Labour Party pledged to:

  • Halve violence against women and girls in a decade.
  • Introduce domestic abuse experts in 999 control rooms and ensure there is a legal advocate in every police force area to advise victim-survivors from the moment of report to trial.
  • Make it easier for high-performing police forces to charge domestic abuse suspects to speed up the process.
  • Introduce stronger training for the police on violence against women and girls.
  • Introduce automatic suspensions if police officers are investigated for domestic abuse and sexual offences.
  • Ensure schools address misogyny and teach young people about healthy relationships and consent.
  • Strengthen the rights and protections available to women in co-habiting couples, which includes couples who live together but are not married or in a civil partnership.

Read the full Labour Party’s Manifesto on its website.

The Liberal Democrats pledged to:

  • Review and reform the Child Maintenance Service, including removing the Collect and Pay charge for receiving parents and ensuring that payments cannot be used to coerce and control survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Introduce mandatory training for police and prosecutors in understanding the impact of trauma on survivors of violence against women and girls.
  • Embed domestic abuse specialists in every police force and 999 operator assistance centres.
  • Address the delays in domestic abuse referrals from the police to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) and decision-making by the CPS.
  • Ensure sustainable funding for services to support survivors of domestic abuse, with a particular focus on community-based and specialist ‘by and for’ services.
  • Provide sufficient financial resources for local authorities to deliver the Homelessness Reduction Act and provide accommodation for survivors of domestic abuse.
  • Establish a firewall to prevent public agencies from sharing information with the Home Office for immigration enforcement, giving migrant victim-survivors greater confidence in reporting to the police.
  • Fully implementing the Istanbul Convention to ensure protections for all survivors regardless of nationality or immigration status.
  • Tackle child poverty by removing the two-child limit and the benefit cap.

Read the full Liberal Democrats’ Manifesto on its website.

What we want to see a future government deliver for economic abuse victim-survivors

To truly stop economic abuse, whichever political party becomes our future government must reflect the experiences of victim-survivors in their response to economic abuse. This must go much further than a criminal justice response to take a whole system approach to tackling economic abuse.

Our Manifesto, created alongside the Experts by Experience Group, calls for a future government to deliver lasting change for victim-survivors across three priority areas:

Support economic abuse victim-survivors by:

  • Introducing a statutory duty to commission community-based services, including economic advocacy, so all victim-survivors can access life-saving specialist support.
  • Making the flee fund permanent so all victim-survivors can access financial help to both escape the abuser and start to rebuild their lives.
  • Protecting all victim-survivors regardless of their immigration status by scrapping the discriminatory no recourse to public funds policy for migrant survivors and introducing guidance to banks so they can open a safe bank account.

Disrupt perpetrators of economic abuse by:

  • Improving the investigation and enforcement of the non-payment of child maintenance and exploring the government providing minimum payments to help lift children out of poverty.
  • Working alongside the financial services sector to encourage a consistent, industry-wide approach to addressing economic abuse and, where required, introduce legislative reform to de-link joint mortgages in cases of domestic abuse.
  • Introducing mandatory training for all criminal justice agencies (police, CPS, and judges) on economic abuse in the context of controlling or coercive behaviour to help victim-survivors access criminal and economic justice.
  • Reforming the family court system by ensuring economic abuse is considered in financial remedy proceedings, removing the legal aid means test for domestic abuse victim-survivors, and enhancing the legal rights and protections for cohabiting couples.

Prevent economic abuse by:

  • Including economic abuse and teaching about equitably managing joint finances in the Relationship and Sex Education (RSE) and Financial Education curriculums in schools