Jeremy Corbyn criticises cuts in funding to support violent abuse victims


Jeremy Corbyn has condemned "unacceptable" Government cuts to the funds available to women's refuges and other organisations supporting victims of violent abuse.

The Labour leader said support for "life-saving" organisations had been "decimated" by austerity measures.

In a statement to mark the United Nations' international day for the elimination of violence against women and girls, Mr Corbyn also said Labour's plans for compulsory relationship education in schools would help tackle "unhealthy attitudes" on the issue amongst youngsters.

Mr Corbyn, together with shadow minister for preventing domestic violence Sarah Champion, called on governments and organisations around the world to tackle the "global epidemic".

They said: "Gender-based violence affects women and girls across the globe. It is a shared reality for too many women and girls regardless of ethnic or racial background, age, sexuality, disability, or social class.

"We know that this violence is not inevitable - we can prevent it. But the Government and the international community must prioritise ending this global epidemic.

"We must support the incredible work of women's organisations who provide essential, life-saving services to survivors. It is unacceptable that these specialist organisations who support women and girls have seen their resources decimated in the name of austerity."

Setting out the need to change the views of the current generation of youngsters, Mr Corbyn and Ms Champion said: "Children and young people are growing up with unhealthy attitudes towards relationships.

"A Labour government would introduce statutory, age-appropriate education in schools to support young people to understand what healthy relationships and friendships looks like and how to identify abuse."

The Labour pair also vowed to increase the proportion of aid money that would go to international women's rights groups if they were in power.

Earlier this month ministers launched a £20 million fund to create more refuges and other accommodation for women fleeing domestic violence.

The money, which local authorities could be for a share of, was the first wave of £40 million dedicated to support domestic abuse victims announced in the 2015 spending review.