Safer Cornwall is urging people not to be a bystander and to step up to play their part to help end violence against women and girls.
Safer Cornwall, the partnership of public, voluntary, community and private organisations who come together to make Cornwall’s communities safer, is supporting the international campaign, 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based violence which starts on 25 November and runs through to 10 December 2021
Over the 16 Days, Safer Cornwall is holding a series of online events and in-person training sessions to raise awareness of the prevalence of gender-based violence, and empower individuals, businesses and organisations to take action so they can help tackle the issue.
Anna MacGregor, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Co-ordinator at Safer Cornwall, said: “Don’t be a bystander. That is our key message to everyone.”
“By being aware of the issues, we can start to take action and make the changes needed across every level of society, to make a difference and have a real impact in successfully reducing the longstanding threat of male violence against women and girls.”
As part of the 16 Days of Activism, Safer Cornwall will be asking employers and leaders for pledges of support for ending VAWG (Violence Against Women and Girls).
Cornwall Council portfolio holder for neighbourhoods Carol Mould said: “Ending violence against women and girls is everyone’s business. We have seen horrifying examples of such gender-based violence recently, which must galvanise our determination to take action. We need to work together and the ongoing work and innovation towards tackling this issue by Safer Cornwall will help give us the tools to not only recognise what is going on, but feel able to do something about it.”
Within the 16 Days, Safer Cornwall is also launching an initiative to develop a network of Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (DASV) champions for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, to empower front-line staff from different services to work together and improve accessibility and quality of support for victims and survivors of DASV.
Laura Ball, DASV Strategy Manager says: “We want people affected by domestic abuse and / or sexual violence to be able to access all the resources and support they need without constantly retelling their story, and for front-line practitioners to be able to maximise the potential of existing resources to provide better support to victims of abuse and their children.”
Other events during 16 Days include Home Office funded training for bar staff in Falmouth to give them the skills to improve safety of women and girls by providing them with the confidence and strategies to spot vulnerability or people behaving inappropriately - and know what to say and do to help deal with the situation.
There will also be an event looking at how employers can tackle DASV (Domestic Abuse & Sexual Violence) experienced by staff in the workplace or home. The event will look at how organisations can improve their infrastructure to better support employees and colleagues affected by DASV and how the pandemic has changed the landscape of the workplace and what working from home means for those affected by domestic abuse.
Cornwall Council Chief Executive Kate Kennally said: “This is an issue that we as an organisation have been looking at really closely and I would urge others to do the same.”
“We recognise that with many more people working from home, we must ensure that our colleagues are not cut off and can access support when needed. At Cornwall Council we are introducing mandatory training for all staff so we can provide support to people experiencing abuse or violence.”
Councillor Linda Taylor, Leader of Cornwall Council, added: “I am proud of the steps that Safer Cornwall and the Council is taking to support people experiencing any type of abuse or violence. We hope that we can lead by example and that other businesses and organisations will do more to protect their workers.”
Story posted 25 November 2021