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PMQs: SNP press PM to commit to long-term funding for women escaping domestic violence

SNP MP Gavin Newlands has today urged the Prime Minister to commit to long-term sustainable funding for women refuge centres, in order to ensure that all women and children have somewhere safe to go when fleeing domestic violence.

The call for change in the UK government's current strategy comes on the same day the government plans to publish its first report detailing progress towards ratifying the Istanbul Convention on violence against women – brought forward through a Private Members Bill by former SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford.

The pressure to increase support for women escaping gender-based violence follows concerns raised by Women’s Aid, a charity working to end domestic abuse, who warned that the UK government’s revised proposals of funding for short-term supported housing risked a “one-size fits all” approach, that disregards specific needs for women and children in situations “of life and death.”

Gavin Newlands, SNP MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire North, said:

“Today’s report on the Istanbul Convention is a culmination of years of hard work by campaigners - including the SNP’s Eilidh Whiteford who successfully steered her Private Members’ Bill through Parliament - and which mandated the UK government to produce an annual report detailing the progress towards ratifying it.

“However, women fleeing domestic violence don’t have the luxury of time, and we cannot wait until it is ratified to protect women who experience domestic violence.

"The UK government must reverse its current approach and cuts, and instead listen to concerns raised by organisations, and commit to long term sustainable funding for women refuge centres - ensuring that all women have somewhere safe to go when they are fleeing gender-based violence.

“The recent events following the Weinstein revelations, including in Parliament itself, have highlighted the urgent need for the UK government to ratify the Istanbul Convention – the gold standard approach for tackling violence against women and girls."

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