Owen Thompson, SNP MP for Midlothian, has pledged to support Eilidh Whiteford MP’s Private Member’s Bill (PMB), which if successful would require the UK Government to legally commit to providing a better framework for addressing violence against women and girls by making the Istanbul Convention law in the UK. This legislation requires the UK to take measures to prevent violence against women, protect women experiencing violence, and prosecute perpetrators.
The Private Member’s Bill has cross party support and, if it becomes law, would see the UK take a proud commitment to ending gender based violence and taking the next steps in securing a safe future for women and girls. And this legislation is needed – in Scotland in 2014/15 alone, 1,797 rapes and 104 attempted rapes and 59,882 incidents of domestic abuse were recorded by the police.
Owen Thompson MP commented:
“I want to end violence against women and girls in the UK, and therefore I wholeheartedly support the Istanbul Convention becoming UK law. I will be in the House of Commons to support my colleague Eilidh Whiteford’s bill, and I urge other MPs to do the same.”
Jenn Selby, a campaigner and survivor said:
“When I think of all the brave women I’ve met on my way through the system, I wonder how many of them made it. The current legal framework did more to see our perpetrators walk free than to keep us alive. This convention would end this.
Rachel Nye, co-director of the campaign, said:
“We need a strategic plan for addressing violence against women and girls, and the Istanbul Convention has already done the strategizing. We just need to put it into practice.”