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Stella Creasy MP, Labour’s Shadow Home Office Minister, responding to the Government's Violence Against Women and Girls 2013 Report, said:

"Much more needs to be done to tackle the hidden scourge of violence against women and girls and, for this reason, the Government's updated Action Plan for 2013 is welcome. However, new, concrete actions to tackle the challenges we face are far too thin on the ground in this report and it is very disappointing that it contains no commitment to compulsory sex and relationships education in schools, or to proper national minimum standards for tackling violence against women and girls.

"You only have to turn the pages of this document to see the challenge we face in making the eradication of violence and abuse a reality.

"I'm deeply concerned to see that the Minister responsible for delivery seems not to understand the direct relationship between gender and the experience of violence, as well as suggest this is a matter for a minority of people or communities.

"With two women a week killed by a former partner, rape conviction rates woefully low and one in five 999 calls in some areas being recorded as domestic incidents, it's vital that the government makes clear that violence against women happens in every community across the country.

"We cannot and should not appear to choose between tackling female genital mutilation or domestic violence, but instead must redouble our efforts to recognise and end all forms of violence and harassment of women and girls. I hope the Minister will make clear that this should not be considered a matter for some, but a priority for all."

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