Councils launch 16 days of action to combat domestic abuse

White Ribbon day pamphlet Pic: Eleonora Girotto

Events are taking place across the Eastlondonlines area over the next two weeks as part of  16 days of action aiming to tackle domestic abuse.

The are designed to spread awareness about domestic abuse and gender-based violence to the wider community and mark the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day

Croydon Council started its campaign with an event at the Centrale Shopping Centre yesterday.  The council’s Family Justice Centre (FJC) and the staff from Croydon’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Support Centre were on site to engage the public in conversation about domestic abuse, breaking the taboos surrounding the crime..

“It needs to be remembered that we are not only talking about physical violence here. Coercion and control of a woman is abuse and needs to be stopped and prevented” said a member of the abuse support centre, who asked to remain anonymous.  

Figures released yesterday by the Office of National Statistics revealed that there were more than 230,000 domestic abuse-related incidents and crimes in the year ending in March, 2019. This is an increase from the previous year.  

The white ribbon campaign (WRC) is a global movement of men and boys actively working to put an end to male violence against women.  The aim is to ask men to recognise the necessity for them to stand up opposing violence against women. 

It was first formed by a group of men in London, Canada in 1991, as a response to the École Polytechnique  massacre of 14 women in Montreal in 1991.  

 Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for safer Croydon and communities said: “We are using this 16-day period to raise awareness of the wide ranging ongoing work to help stop this crime so that more people know how to get the help and advice they need.”

In Croydon, the council’s FJC team will engage with Croydon-based partners to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the impact it can have. They will provide specific training  to businesses and organisations, such as Home Start Croydon, a family support organisation, judges and GPs.  

Every resident or visitor to Croydon’ s housing blocks will be able to get information on abuse related services and helplines, thanks to the posters that will be put up in the hallways of council housing blocks.  

Discussion on how to help stop violence against women and girls will be brought to a national level, at the South London and Maudsley NHS foundation trust conference.  

Information board at the event Pic: Eleonora Girotto

The 16 days of action runs until December 10, Human Rights Day.   

In other boroughs:

Tower Hamlets Council has a calendar of events running throughout these 16 days of action, with opportunities for families to engage with elimination of violence against women and training to raise awareness within the wider community.  

Hackney will launch the campaign today at the Brewer’s Bar in Dalston providing a toolkit for young people on domestic abuse and advice on night time safety.  

Yesterday, Lewisham Council launched a social media campaign to encourage residents and businesses to get behind action against gender-based violence and strengthen local work in stamping out violence in Lewisham.  

Events planned for the following weeks include five-a-side football match, a coffee morning and bake sale in aid of Mosac Charity and a White Ribbon march from Catford to Lewisham.  

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