Janet Douglas CMG

Deputy Head of Mission at the British Embassy in Ankara

Guest blogger for Richard Moore

Part of UK in Turkey

25th November 2015 London, UK

Stop violence against women!

We have to stop violence against women because for too long, too many women around the world have experienced terrible abuse. The UN estimates 35% of women globally have experienced some form of violence. This abuse can happen in ordinary homes, and in warzones where women are disproportionate victims of sexual violence.


And these crimes do not just affect women themselves, they affect their communities and children. Their consequences can last for generations, holding back development and sometimes fuelling cycles of conflict.

That’s why this issue matters to the UK. We are determined to tackle it, starting at home. In the UK 1.4 million women suffered domestic abuse in 2014. We want to ensure they get the justice and support they need. So in July the government launched a new £3.2m fund for support for victims of domestic violence.

But violence against women and girls does not stop when they leave home – it is also an issue at universities. So a new taskforce has been created to find ways to reduce violence on university campuses.

We also want to tackle the culture of discrimination that allows violence against women to take place. So we are trying to help women into work, to support their access to all careers at all levels, and to close the gender pay gap.

The UK is also working internationally. Our Preventing Sexual Violence Initiative aims to tackle impunity for those who commit sexual violence in conflicts wherever they take place. We support the involvement of women in conflict prevention and resolution. And around the world we support projects to reduce discrimination and help women access services and support.

Here in Turkey we are working closely with the Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Interior, Ministry of Family and Social Policies, and our NGO partners. We have projects with the Ministry of Justice on supporting women victims of crime in judicial processes. We are working with the NGO Ka.Der on gender mainstreaming in the Turkish Parliament. And we are supporting the Blue Door Association to help eliminate domestic violence.

These are crucial issues for both our countries, and I hope we can continue to deepen our cooperation at home and around the world.