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Committee announces two new inquiries; into Violence Against Women and Girls and into the policing of last weekend’s vigils

18 March 2021

The Home Affairs Select Committee is announcing two new inquiries following the tragic death of Sarah Everard and the raising of safety concerns by women across the country.

The Committee will be conducting an overarching inquiry into Violence Against Women and Girls, focusing first on low rape conviction levels. Further details will follow next week.

The Committee will also be conducting a separate short inquiry into the policing of vigils over the weekend of 13 and 14 March with its first evidence session on Wednesday 24 March.

It has issued a call for evidence inviting those who took part or were affected by the vigils following the killing of Sarah Everard to share their perspectives on the vigils.

While some vigils that took place last weekend were facilitated by local police and passed without incident, others resulted in arrests and criticism of police actions by those in attendance, notably on Clapham Common and in Brighton.

Ahead of a planned evidence session, the Home Affairs Committee invites those who participated in, organised, policed or were otherwise affected by the vigils to provide short submissions outlining their experiences of the events. Further information on how to submit evidence and the central questions the committee seeks to examine is provided below.

The Committee recognises the importance and breadth of issues relating to violence against women and girls. The effects of violence against women and girls are profound, complex and traumatising. The Committee intends to undertake a wider inquiry in this area and there will be further opportunities for anyone to provide their views, reflections or experiences. A full terms of reference for this inquiry will be published in due course.

Chair's comment

Yvette Cooper MP, the Chair of the Committee, said:

“Following the tragic death of Sarah Everard women across the country have been moved to speak about their own experiences of violence, threats and feeling unsafe on our streets or at home. The Committee will soon be launching an inquiry into Violence Against Women and Girls, focusing initially on the disturbing drop in rape prosecutions to 1.4% of reported cases.

“We have also been very concerned by what happened at the vigils that took place over the weekend of 13 and 14 March, including the scenes we saw at Clapham Common and the policing decisions that were made. We are therefore conducting a short inquiry on this issue and intend to take evidence next week”. 

Further information

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