Jean Lambert, Green MEP for London was joined by two Islington-based community organisations at the European Parliament in Brussels last week to call for more investment in women’s services to help victims of domestic violence.
The Islington Training Network  and IMECE  were invited to present their findings from a workshop they organised as part of a Daphne  project investigating the impact of domestic violence policy on minority ethnic, refugee and Roma women. Concluding the event, Jean concurred that a European-wide legislature was needed to combat violence against women, with recognition of the problem at its core, as well as the need to provide the necessary services.
The event, entitled ‘Empowering women or perpetuating victimhood’, also included presentations from the project’s Hungarian partner BSZF, Miguel Lorente from the Spanish Ministry of Equality, Benedetta Turdo from the European Commission’s DAPHNE unit, Colette De Troy, the Director of the European Women’s Lobby European Policy Action Centre on Violence Against Women and Eva Britt Svensson MEP, chair of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality.
Jean, who sits on the Committee of Employment and Social Affairs, said: “Today we have repeatedly heard about the importance of consistent funding, proper training and accessible services as a means of giving women that vital sense of security. We have also discussed the need for a comprehensive EU legislation to tackle domestic violence and now it is our job as parliament to use these recommendations and make something happen.
She concluded: “Today is Budget Day in the UK and what strikes me is right back at the beginning of this recession one of the most valuable things that any government could have done would be to invest more in services, such as those dealing with domestic violence.
“If more money had gone in at that early stage we could have avoided so much misery. And what we really should be doing is recognising the crucial role that organisations such as those represented here today have in actually bringing support and helping to transform not only women’s lives, but their children’s and society as a whole.”
Note to Editors
 Islington Training Network is a membership based, capacity building organisation. It draws membership from all the key sectors with the majority from the community and voluntary sectors. ITN is committed to promoting economic inclusion and social justice through supporting a range of organisations working with a diversity of groups experiencing multiple disadvantages in the labour market and inequalities of access to opportunities and services.
 IMECE – Turkish Speaking Women’s Group is a women only community organisation that provides advice, advocacy and informational services for Turkish, Kurdish and Turkish Cypriot women. Its purpose is to raise awareness of issues such as domestic violence, racism and women’s rights to enable women to overcome barriers of isolation and exclusion. IMECE also provides capacity building services for small Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) community organisations to improve their Domestic Violence (DV) services. It carries out research into DV legislation and its implementation. It also researches the specific needs of BME women survivors of DV.
 The European Commission’s Daphne programme aims to prevent and combat all forms of violence, especially of a physical, sexual or psychological nature, against children, young people and women. It also aims to protect victims and groups at risk to attain a high level of physical and mental health protection, well-being and social cohesion throughout the European Union. Since it was launched in 2000 the programme has helped to finance more than 500 projects and it is now in its third phase.
Jean Lambert is one of eight MEPs representing London and one of two UK Green representatives in the European Parliament. Jean was first elected Green Party Member of the European Parliament for London in the 1999 European elections and was re-elected in 2004 and 2009.