Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is facing calls to do more to tackle male violence as figures show domestic violence referrals have risen by 20 per cent. 

And charities believe the figure will be much higher when lockdown ends as victims are currently "stuck at home with their perpretrators". 

In the last twelve months since the first lockdown was introduced, victims referred for domestic violence support in Basingstoke has increased by 20 per cent. Ninety-five per cent of those victims are women. 

The Basingstoke branch of Women’s Equality are calling upon Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council to take proactive steps that address the root of male violence in Basingstoke.

This action is being done alongside Stop Domestic Abuse, the service provider for domestic abuse support in Hampshire.

Priya Brown, WE Basingstoke’s Local Elections candidate for Eastrop and Grove, said: “The need to change behaviours to prevent violence against women and girls has never been clearer. Public sexual harassment, domestic abuse, and rape are not committed only by men, but they are in the majority of cases.

“WE Basingstoke are therefore calling on BDBC to work towards White Ribbon accreditation, and as a non-partisan, collaborative party we have invited all Basingstoke’s political groups to join us in this effort.”

Of the 55,758 rapes that were reported to police in England and Wales last year, which is fewer than a sixth of those that took place, the vast majority are perpetrated by men.

White Ribbon UK is the leading charity that works with men and boys to challenge those male cultures that lead to harassment, abuse and violence against women. Accredited organisations are required to develop local action plans that engage with men and boys, raising awareness and changing culture.

Priya added: “We need societal change in attitudes towards violence against women and girls. It is simply not OK for politicians to ignore this anymore, and the first step towards proving that ending violence against women is their top political priority is for our Council to gain White Ribbon accreditation.”