Sunday, May 27, 2018

South Wales Police supports White Ribbon Campaign to end violence against women and girls

25th November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the White Ribbon campaign asks men to pledge to never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women in all its forms. Wearing a white ribbon signifies that this personal pledge has been made.

In 2014, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, Rt Hon Alun Michael, and South Wales Police Chief Constable, Peter Vaughan, were the first joint White Ribbon accreditation.

They have since developed a network of White Ribbon Ambassadors and Champions – officers and staff who engage with local communities to raise awareness of all forms of violence against women and girls; help achieve a change in behaviour and attitude amongst men and; encourage victims to come forward. This will take place during the 16 days of action up to 10th December 2017, Human Rights Day. Representatives will also march with partner agencies through Cardiff to Llandaff Cathedral on 27th November to the annual ‘Light a Candle’ multi-faith service.

White Ribbon Ambassadors, Mr Michael and Mr Vaughan, said:

“Our aim is that everyone in South Wales has the opportunity to live positive, independent lives without being affected by violence and abuse.

“Anyone can be a victim of abuse regardless of gender, race, class, age, religion, sexuality, mental ability, physical ability, income, lifestyle or geographical area of residence. However, women are more likely than men to be victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence, which contrasts with all other types of violent crime where men are more likely to be victims.”

In the last year, November 2016 – October 2017, South Wales Police dealt with 35,754 incidents of domestic abuse with 73 of the occurrences involving a female victim.

Other forms of abuse against women and girls include so called ‘honour’ based violence, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation.

Mr Michael and Mr Vaughan continued:

“We are committed to bringing an end to all forms of violence against women and girls in South Wales. To achieve this, we work hard to ensure that our officers and staff understand their role in detecting abuse against women and girls, safeguarding victims and pursuing perpetrators.

“Our White Ribbon Ambassadors and Champions are role models amongst their peers; they convey the principles of the White Ribbon campaign to their colleagues and work with partner agencies locally to help ensure that every opportunity to intervene and help prevent violence against women and girls is taken.”

UK Government recently awarded £1.4m, the largest share of the £17m Violence Against Women and Girls Service Transformation Fund, to the Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales to help prevent and address violence against women and girls.

The fund promotes projects leading the way in stopping violence before it happens, preventing abusive behaviour from becoming entrenched, and establishing the best ways to help victims and their families. A range of interventions will afford victims/survivors and perpetrators access to services at the earliest opportunity.

Alun Michael, Police and Crime Commissioner for South Wales, said:

“The award of £1.4m to accelerate our work in reducing violence against women and girls is a significant vote of confidence in South Wales Police. I am delighted that the Home Office has recognised the outstanding work undertaken with our partner agencies to tackle violence against women and girls.

“The police cannot tackle these issues alone, and in Wales we are helped enormously by the commitment of Welsh Government, with ground-breaking legislation on this issue and on-going commitment to changing the culture.”

New initiatives that will benefit from this investment include an ‘Ask Me’ scheme through which up to 30 ‘community ambassadors’ will be trained to identify the signs of abuse and to provide safe spaces within communities where women can report it.

A Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Regional Board that includes Public Health Wales, local health boards, local authorities, emergency services and third sector organisations will strengthen collaboration and provide a foundation to deliver a whole system approach. This approach recognises that tackling violence against women and girls is a complex problem, which cannot be solved by anyone single agency, and needs to be seen as everyone’s business.

Source: https://www.south-wales.police.uk/en/newsroom/south-wales-police-supports-white-ribbon-campaign-end-violence-women-girls/ (Sat Nov 25th 2017)

Leanne Hughes
Leanne Hughes
Local News & Events, Welsh Politics
Caerphilly & Merthyr Tydfil

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