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Women need to be able to trust the police – how does Britain get to that point? | Harriet Wistrich

New legislation making it a legal duty to tackle domestic abuse is a start, but there are still spectacular failures in policing

After the murder of Sarah Everard by a serving police officer earlier this year, a dam burst. Women came out on to the streets of Britain to protest against male violence, only to be met with police violence.

That dam is still flooding: at least 133 women in the UK have died at the hands of a man in 2021 so far. Countless more will have taken their own lives as a consequence of male violence. Women are tired of reading the names of the women killed by femicide each year, they are tired of reading about the increase in the reports of sexual violence and domestic violence, and they are tired of the failure of the criminal justice system to tackle the problem – as the virtual collapse of rape prosecutions over the past three years shows.

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