“The reality is that the conditions under which the Mental Health Act are enforced are not fit for purpose for women and girls.
“The majority of women and girls detained will have experienced violence and abuse. But the evidence suggests this is not understood or responded to appropriately, particularly when they are detained.
“This sees women who have been abused by men being observed by male nurses, having abusers as their ‘nearest relative’ and being restrained in ways that can re-traumatise them. They are also separated from their children and family, heaping trauma upon trauma.
“It can be no coincidence that this is the context in which so many women and girls are dying.
“We want to see women and girls’ specific experiences – including of motherhood, and of trauma and abuse – understood and integrated into all levels of their care, including and especially when they are in crisis.
“It is crucial that detention under the Mental Health Act becomes an opportunity for women and girls to rebuild their lives and have a positive future rather than them feeling like they have no future at all.”