A Lichfield election candidate says the pandemic of domestic abuse is being forgotten by political leaders.
Kathy Coe MBE will represent Labour in the Lichfield City North seat at the Staffordshire County Council elections.
The founder of the Pathway Project domestic abuse charity said the national picture made for difficult reading, with 4,800 women turned away from refuges last year because of a lack of space.
She said helplines had also been overwhelmed during the coronavirus crisis.
“Covid-19 has not been the only pandemic which we have been facing in this country – unfortunately, there is no vaccination which can protect victims of domestic abuse.
“A woman dies every three days as a result of domestic abuse, and sadly the lockdowns and restrictions caused by the pandemic has made this worse, with calls to helplines increasing significantly during lockdown periods.
“Last year 4,800 women were turned away from refuges with their children because the refuges were all full.
“The sector is under-resourced and sadly the funding across the country is not going to the specialist grass roots services which have done such an amazing job, but to national generic organisations.”Kathy Coe MBE
“They could have protected more people
She said the Government had missed the opportunity to tackle issues faced by victims through the Domestic Abuse Bill.
“The Bill was meant to provide measures to protect the victim and punish the perpetrator – the Government has missed the opportunity to pass legislation which does this.
“Amendments to the Bill passed last week would have given better protection for disabled victims, migrant victims, improved justice for victims in the courts, created a register for dangerous serial abusers. The Government voted to take them out.
“They could have protected more people. They chose not to. I feel so let down by this Government.
“They could have incorporated serial offenders into the Violent and Sex Offenders Register to monitor and supervise the perpetrators of domestic abuse – They failed.
“They could have protected vulnerable migrant women who have no recourse to public funds. Currently only 4% of refuges can accept women with no recourse. They could have voted to train judges to understand domestic abuse better – they failed.
“They have failed victims and the sad result of that will be that more women and children will lose their lives, more cases will fail to even reach court.
“The successful convictions of rapists, sex offenders and domestic abuse perpetrators will continue to fall beyond the all time low they are now at.
“They failed to give a voice to people who are so often voiceless, people who need to have a real voice fighting for them.”Kathy Coe MBE
A full list of candidates standing in the local elections across Lichfield and Burntwood is available here.