95 petitions

Update posted 2 days ago

Petition to UK Parliament, Theresa May MP, Penny Mordaunt, Karen Bradley

Decriminalise abortion in Northern Ireland by accepting responsibility for its legislation

People living in Northern Ireland are still unable to legally have an abortion (unless exceptional circumstances apply). Unlike the rest of the UK, they only have two choices: buy abortion pills online or travel abroad to have the procedure. Neither are good enough. No person wanting to have an abortion should be expected to travel far from their home and loved ones, paying money to do so. No person wanting to have an abortion should have to risk their lives buying tablets on the internet. No person should face a life sentence for making a decision about their own body.  Westminster has so far done little to help. Why? Because abortion is a devolved issue. That means that it is the responsibility of the Northern Ireland Assembly (also known as Stormont). But, despite rounds of talks, Stormont has not been functional since January 2017. Still, Westminster says there is nothing it can do. This is not true. The UN has declared Northern Ireland's abortion legislation to be a "grave and systematic" violation of human rights. Westminster has a responsibility to uphold human rights laws. It has the power to repeal sections 58 and 59 of the 1861 Offences Against the Person Act which criminalises abortions conducted outside the law. It has the power to ensure that people in Northern Ireland enjoy the same freedom as every other person living in the rest of the UK, including the right to have a lawful abortion up to 24 weeks into pregnancy. We are calling for Westminster to accept the responsibility of Northern Ireland’s abortion legislation by the end of 2019 and safeguard the people living there via one or both of the following ways: Modernising the Offences Against the Person Act. Using applicable sections of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 to ensure that international rights obligations are met while still upholding devolution. Stormont has had long enough to rectify this breach in human rights. Westminster cannot delay any longer. The UK likes to call itself a leader in equality. It's time for the government to prove it. 

602 supporters
Update posted 1 week ago

Petition to Theresa May MP

Survivors of sexual violence are being denied support: tell Theresa May this must end now.

In 2016 I was raped by a man while I was travelling. I was unconscious when he first assaulted me and when I was conscious, I said no repeatedly. He then told me again and again how much he could seriously hurt me. He raped me throughout the night. I reported the rape as soon as I was safe but my attacker has never been caught. I returned to the UK in August 2017 and knew I needed support. I tried to access a counselling service right away. I called my local Rape Crisis centres, who were kind on the phone, but told me they’d had to close their waiting list and didn’t know when they might be able to offer me any help. I tried again and again over the next 8 months, contacting multiple centres, and was told every time that they had huge numbers of women waiting. Nearly two years on from the attack I was experiencing severe stress, lack of sleep, migraines and I was having flashbacks during my sleep which had started to creep into my waking hours too. I was self-medicating on alcohol just to get by. Every time I was rejected help from Rape Crisis, my mental health spiralled further beyond my control until suddenly I just couldn't go on any longer. Luckily for me, my employer saved me when I hit rock bottom by arranging private therapy for me. But my case is extremely rare – the reality is there are thousands of survivors of rape and sexual abuse suffering in silence and desperate for support being turned away from local Rape Crisis centres and other sexual violence support services across the country due to inadequate funding. I was last turned away from a Rape Crisis waiting list on 8 March 2018. A year on from that date, many Rape Crisis waiting lists are still closed. There just isn’t enough funding or services to help everyone in need. For years the Government have promised to turn something called the Istanbul Convention into law. It would give protection and set a standard of support for victims of sexual violence. It says there should be at least 150 Rape Crisis Centres in England and Wales. Currently there are only 44.  Help me, hold this government to account for the complete failure to ensure rape counselling services are there when survivors need them. Tell Theresa May that every victim of sexual violence and abuse has the right to access independent specialist support services in the community the moment they seek it, and to get long term counselling that will help them recover. Please, sign this petition and demand the government fund these life-saving services. To find out more about how important this campaign is and how you can make a difference, check out End Violence Against Women Coalition who are supporting me in this petition.    

Fern Champion
155,746 supporters
Update posted 2 weeks ago

Petition to Crown Prosecution Service, Alison Saunders

Take domestic violence seriously in courts

Last night Manchester Crown Court’s Judge Richard Mansell ruled that he would not jail Mustafa Bashir, a man who made his wife drink bleach and, at one point, struck her over her back with a cricket bat saying: "If I hit you with this bat with my full power then you would be dead." Judge Mansell concluded she was not vulnerable enough because she was "an intelligent woman with a network of friends" and a university degree.The Judge handed out a suspended sentence of 18 months - a punishment which is not enforced unless a further crime is committed during a specified period. What message does this send out to perpetrators of domestic abuse?Alison Saunders, Director of Public Prosecution at the Crown Prosecution Service needs to take domestic violence seriously. Like Bashir’s partner, I went through hell with my ex, enduring domestic abuse for 18 years. At one point I was shot with a sawn-off shotgun and then beaten. My 16 year old son took his life as a result of this. I also had a network of good friends - does that mean I was not vulnerable enough too? What ignorance by the system.For years I have been saying that judges who deal with these cases don’t fully understand the issue of domestic violence, including the power dynamics of the perpetrator and victim and how it can make you a prisoner in your home - regardless of your network of friends and how intelligent you are.I am actively campaigning in the domestic abuse arena to see that all services listen to the voice of those who have and still are victims/survivors. Sadly we are experts by experience. All Judges should have mandatory domestic abuse training because their lack of knowledge is putting lives at risk, those lives of the vulnerable people.I am calling on the Alison Saunders to agree to meet me, and show that the CPS understands that work needs to be done so that Judge Mansell’s actions are never repeated.

Rachel Williams
216,813 supporters