The results of the Femicide Censusprovides a depressing narrative of the numbers of women (113 in 2016) who were killed by their partner or ex-partner. The report makes for shocking reading but is another addition to the litany of carnage that featured in previous reports indicating that over 900 women had died at the hands of men between 2009 and 2015. https://1q7dqy2unor827bqjls0c4rn-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/The-Femicide-Census-Report-published-2017.pdf 

Of those women murdered last year, more than half were killed in their own home, the report also reveals. Another disturbing trend (perhaps reflective in the general increase of knife related offences) appears to be the use of a sharp instrument as the weapon in nearly half of these particular deaths.

Expert commentators on the report’s recommendations conclude that some important things need to happen. One is obviously bringing about a change to men’s attitudes and behaviour to Women and Girls. Unfortunately, the tabloid obsession with sexualising everything that they can and their constant objectification of women along with reports showing unfettered access to pornography especially among adolescent males doesn’t exactly inspire much hope that this will be achieved anytime soon.

Creating a safe space for victims of domestic abuse is obviously a priority and the report is highly critical of the reduction in support programmes (CRC owners and MoJ take note for once?) and the lamentable shortage of refuge accommodation which is another testimony to failed austerity policies and a government that seemingly does not give a damn.  

As to the recommendations themselves, they suggest that the UK government should put reducing femicide at the centre of its work to reduce violence against women, by including this in the proposed Domestic Abuse and Violence Bill and the wider review of the violence against women and girls strategy.

Following the success of the campaign run by Paladin (who continue to do brilliant work) for police forces to identify a nominated officer to support victims of stalking, it should be easy for a similar practical arrangement to be applied in terms of DV issues, along with building local strategies in partnership to prevent future deaths.

The report also suggests that the judiciary should review the range of sentencing for femicide across England and Wales to identify the reasons for the significant variation in sentences (ranging from 12 years to 28 years for murder) and consider whether further guidance on the trial and sentencing of femicide cases is necessary to ensure all perpetrators are equally held to account and victims’ families can see that justice is done.

Another eminently sensible recommendation is that employers should ensure they have appropriate policies and procedures in place to support and protect their employees and provide training and guidance to line managers and colleagues.

I am pretty sure that all those Napo members who deal with the impact of Domestic Violence situations as part of their work would support such initiatives in any way that they can.

Parliament resumes its inquiries into TR and the funding arrangements

Following the submissions that have been made by Napo and other interested parties the probation unions have been asked to assist the Justice Committee inquiry into TR by arranging further oral evidence from a selection of practitioners.

The Committee for Public Accounts have, as I predicted, shown an interest in the conclusions of the National Audit Office enquiries into the post TR funding arrangements. We published a joint uinion statement on this last week and here it is again if you missed it.

Similarly we are in touch with them to see if we might offer any assistance.

The New Look Napo Magazine for 2018!

Our Comms team have written out to all Napo Branches to say that we are relaunching the Napo magazine in 2018.

This investment and the software to support it is part of Napo’s growth strategy and has been approved by the NEC. Kath Falcon and Tay Burke report that the new Napo Magazine will have a brand new look and size - 36 A5 pages; an increased number of issues (6 a year rather than quarterly); and an increased print run so that we can send out a number of copies to branches to distribute in work places. In this way we hope to achieve better engagement with members AND increase Napo’s visibility on the ground.

All Napo branches have been asked to help with this by looking at ways that they can most effectively circulate the new magazine.  We especially want to know:

  • How many printed copies would your branch like?
  • Who is the best person to send them to?
  • How will you arrange distribution i.e. would you give them out at branch meetings or mail out to Napo reps in individual workplaces?

We also want the new Napo Magazine to be more member and branch focussed. So please let us have news from your branch. You can either write a short article (300 words) or simply contact us with ideas for local stories and we will ring you to follow it up. Photos are ALWAYS welcome too.

The deadline for the first issue in 2018 is Friday 26 January 2018.

Contact either Tay Burke or Kath Falcon tburke@napo.org.uk or kfalcon@napo.org.uk or telephone 020 7223 4887 if you want to know more or have something that you think would be of interest

Blog type: 
General Secretary's Blog