31 January 2008
Domestic abuse is likely to affect one in four women at some time in their lives - fact.More women aged 19-44 die as a result of domestic abuse than of cancer, war or motor vehicle accidents in the UK - fact.
Despite these shocking statistics however, there is an increasingly large number of women who manage to seek help thanks to the many organisations and charities dedicated solely to this cause including the Safer Caerphilly MAC agency in Ystrad Mynach.
It is these survivors that the home affairs select committee would like to hear from - their experiences of domestic violence, including forced marriage and honour based violence.
From January 21st through to February 29th, the home affairs select committee is set to hold an "eConsultation" as part of its current enquiry into domestic violence. The committee will use the information that is gathered through the eConsultation to make recommendations to the government about its policy, services and legislation on domestic violence and forced marriage.
The eConsultation will run for six weeks, as of 21st January at forums.parliament.uk and will consist of a message board arranged around a small number of discussion topics, which are likely to include, the prevention and identification of abuse, victims' experiences of support services and experiences of the criminal justice system, (i.e. police, courts, prisons and probation).
The committee realises that those people it is trying to reach may be vulnerable, and therefore have made the following assurances:
- No personal or contact information will be requested - instead users will select an anonymous username and password. Participants will then be able to read comments on the site, and leave their own.
- The site has a "hide this screen" quick exit button for discreetness.
- The site contains information about how to clear Internet history - nobody other than the user need ever know that they have used the site.
- Fully trained moderators will moderate all messages before being posted on the site. Any personal details or identifiers will be removed, as will any abusive or threatening postings.
Past eConsultations have proven extremely successful, with a high participation rate from survivors of domestic abuse. Many have said how much they valued the opportunity to contribute and share their experiences in a completely relaxed and anonymous environment.
The site will be at forums.parliament.uk as of 21st January and run until 29th February.
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