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Parliamentary committee launches inquiry into violence against women and girls

Parliamentary committee launches inquiry into violence against women and girls


The UK government's Women and Equalities Committee will look into whether men who commit certain types of crime and non-criminal offences have a higher potential to commit serious acts of violence against women.

The committee announced the new inquiry on 11 July. According to a parliamentary press release, the inquiry will also examine the availability and effectiveness of services and interventions to tackle such violent behaviours:

"In recent years, there have been a number of high profile cases where women have been raped and murdered by perpetrators with a concerning history of offending. The inquiry will look at whether non-criminal behaviours or non-contact sexual offences can escalate to more serious crimes. It will examine how the police service and wider criminal justice system respond to these behaviours and what interventions are in place to address different types of offending. 

"Given frequent reports of cases of sexual misconduct by serving officers, notably the fire and police services, the inquiry will also ask if there is a problem in the workplace culture of some public sector organisations."

The chair of the Women and Equalities Committee, Rt Hon Caroline Nokes MP, said: “In recent years we have seen a series of high-profile crimes, where men have been convicted of rape and murder who had a history of other forms of violent or sexual crime.  

“We want to understand if there are patterns of behaviour which could indicate a higher likelihood to escalate to more serious forms of crime.  

“This could include criminal behaviours, such as domestic violence, stalking or flashing, or non-criminal behaviours such as using misogynistic language. We also want to see if sexist and misogynistic behaviour online translates to physical violence in the real world. 

“Are the police force and criminal justice system set up to identify and challenge these behaviours, and provide suitable interventions to mitigate their effects? 

“Given the catalogue of cases of serving officers committing serious crimes, we also have to ask if they are doing enough to ensure the culture within their own ranks isn’t fostering dangerous attitudes to women.” 

The Women and Equalities Committee has invited written submissions by Friday 22 September.