A Loose Women lunch time show on television this week discussed reforms for women who are sent to prison and the impact on their children of prison sentences. Janet Street Porter spoke on the programme and is an advocate of the campaign to find alternatives to prison for non-violent mothers. She discussed how many of these women are substance users and in domestically violent relationships and require support. She argued that many support services and refuges are being closed because of cuts in funding for women in domestically violent relationships. The programme also highlighted the government’s new strategy to divert women away from prison sentences by piloting residential centres for women rather than building new women’s prisons.
A government press release discussing this strategy is available here.
The open democracy website has published an article by Rachel Jewkes that highlights the interaction between poverty and IPV. She points to projects in Tajikistan and South Africa aimed at providing women and girls with the means to start businesses to ease family poverty or delay dating – which have led to positive outcomes reducing the risk of IPV.
Rachel has led research on violence against women at the South African Medical Research Council for over two decades. She is the director of the UK Department for International Development-funded “What works to prevent violence against women and girls?” global programme.
Through the course of the programme, the percentage of women reporting intimate partner violence halved. Food insecurity for women reduced by two-thirds, and the proportion of women earning money increased fourfold. Meanwhile, reports of depression in women nearly halved and depression in men more than halved.
You can access the article here.