Honeyball’s Weekly Round-Up

Today is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. So it was apt to be reminded of some of the figures relating to domestic violence. Yesterday’s Sunday Mirror carried an exclusive story which revealed “victims of domestic violence make one in five of all 999 calls to police in some areas.”

The article called this a hidden crime which affects over a million women each year. Of course it is not always and exclusively women who are affected by this crime but nevertheless funding has been cut which is essential to helping support victims of domestic violence across the UK.

The article revealed the area with the highest proportion of domestic violence reports was Merseyside, where they made up 21% of all emergency calls. In both West Mercia and Lancashire the figure was more than 18%.

Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper called for action on the problem, saying a new organisation should be set up to tackle domestic violence. She also said ministers haven’t helped and have compounded the problem by slashing funding to refuges.

She told the Sunday Mirror’s Vincent Moss: “This is a hidden emergency for over a million women every year who call out for urgent help but are not ­properly heard,” she added. You can read the full story here.

Meanwhile on the question of Europe, yesterday’s Observer had a well written piece by Andrew Rawnsley who warned those who are rushing to remove us from Europe not to wish too hard.

This is something I’m often asked about and I think it’s important to remember that in order to have a say in Europe, a strong and influential voice we must not deny ourselves representation a the top table. We must be there to negotiate on trade, borders and security and all the things which affect us as a nation.

Rawnsley’ s article said that Tony Blair is to make an “important intervention”, this Wednesday where he will tell a business audience that “the case for Europe is no longer principally about maintaining peace on this continent but about projecting power in the world. Out of the EU, Britain will be denied representation at the top table when Europe negotiates – on trade, for example – with America and China,” he is expected to say.

Rawnsley concludes that those who are calling for us to leave Europe are not influential in comparison to those who are gunning for us to stay in Europe. He says: “So on the fundamental question, in or out, here is the line-up of forces. On the side of remaining in the European Union: the Lib Dems, the Labour Party, an important number of senior conservatives, the vast majority of business and the vast majority of trades unions.

“On the side of leaving: a lot of Tories, a few noisy newspapers, hardly any businesses and hardly any trades unionists. That is why I say the ‘outists’e are unwise to toast victory before the battle has even been properly joined.” You can read his article in full here.

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