Merseyside Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell has unveiled a progress report detailing the achievements from the last 12 months in the work to tackle Violence against Women and Girls.
The ‘Working in partnership to tackle Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Delivery Plan’ was launched by Emily Spurrell a year ago, after an extensive consultation.
It sets out a clear ambition to protect women and girls who live, work and visit Merseyside, prevent violence, pursue offenders and ensure tackling VAWG is prioritised and treated with urgency.
The strategy, which was agreed by all political leaders and contributed to by nearly 50 partners across the region, sets out 57 clear, straight-forward and achievable actions which all agencies can deliver to help eradicate VAWG.
One year on and ahead of International Day to End Violence against Women and Girls, the Commissioner has released a progress report detailing the successes and work that’s ongoing to tackle VAWG, as well as the next steps.
Key achievements from the last 12 months include:
- Vulnerability / Trauma-informed training delivered to more than 1,782 police officers and staff to improve their interactions with victims;
- 131 schools trained to have age-appropriate conversations on misogyny, sexual harassment and peer-on-peer abuse and a further 131 schools taken part in the ‘Send Me A Selfie’ training delivered by the Ariel Trust;
- 51,600+ employees now have access to a Domestic Abuse Workplace Champion;
- 33 new 360degree cameras installed across Liverpool city centre;
- £800,000 to tackle domestic abuse through early intervention programmes;
- £3.2m committed to support survivors of sexual violence;
To support these outcomes, the Crime Commissioner has:
- Relaunched the Modern Slavery Network bringing partners and agencies together to redouble efforts to tackle the issue of slavery and trafficking and improve the support provided to victims.
- Secured an additional £100,000 funding for the Safer Streets Merseyside campaign making it clear there is No Excuse for sexual violence.
- Launched a ‘guardian project’, with LJMU student volunteers trained to provide support to those who need it in Liverpool’s night-time economy, such as helping people get home or providing emotional support.
- Secured £2.2m in uplift funding for domestic abuse and sexual violence services across Merseyside to provide a range of community-based support for victim-survivors.
- Offered free training to employers through the Domestic Abuse Workplace Scheme to ensure workplaces are safe places and by equipping staff to become Workplace Champions to help colleagues who may be at risk.
- Pledged a five-year funding package to ensure access to specialist harmful practices support.
- Secured £200,000 to improve the safety of women and girls in St Helens traveling at night time, through enhanced CCTV and street lighting.
- Launched ‘safe spaces’ at each of the bus stations for anyone who feels vulnerable within travel centres and needs support.
- Explored opportunities to conduct a domestic abuse funding review to understand the demand for organisations supporting victim-survivors.
- Ongoing development of her commissioned Victim Care Merseyside hub which works with specialist sexual violence and domestic abuse services.
Earlier today, the Commissioner presented an update on the delivery of the region-wide strategy to a forum of victim-survivors and support organisations held at Tomorrow’s Women Wirral, to deliver on her ongoing commitment to ensure that the voices of victim-survivors are at the heart of this work.
The event provided feedback on the work done so far to tackle VAWG and included table discussions on the priorities for the year ahead to make our region safer for all women and girls.
Merseyside Police and Crime Commissioner, Emily Spurrell said: “I am incredibly proud of what we have achieved in one year as a partnership to tackle Violence against Women and girls across our region.
“I am absolutely committed to making Merseyside a safer place for all women and girls, and while there is still a long way to go, I thought it was important to hold this event to reflect on all the positive work that’s been achieved to prevent violence, support victim-survivors and make a real difference to the lives of women and girls across our region.
“One year on, and we have already further enhanced the police approach and equipped them with better resources to help them to support victims, introduced new and specialised teams, and increased the training for police officers and staff who are working with vulnerable people every single day.
“Our work as a partnership has included putting new and improved protocols in place, provided vital financial investment for support services, as well as awareness campaigns that aim to change behaviour. These, plus many more achievements are all important steps in the efforts to create tangible change and ensure women and girls are safer.”
Today’s forum was the first in a line-up of events and activities across the region that will take place during the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism, which runs from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls on 25th November until Human Rights Day on 10th December.
To mark the start of the 16-day campaign, the Commissioner is hosting a community expo-style End Violence against Women and Girls event on Saturday 25th November.
The stalled event, being in the atrium at Mann Island between 2pm and 4pm, brings VAWG charities and groups who are committed to ending gender-based violence together to raise awareness of the scale of VAWG in our communities and what needs to be done to tackle it, while promoting the support available to all those affected across Merseyside.
As well as wide range of stalls, it will feature a series of speeches and a candle-lit vigil to remember those women and girls who have tragically lost their lives to gender-based violence across Merseyside.
Emily added: “The 16 days of campaigning that follow today, continue to be crucial dates in my calendar.
“The event tomorrow is designed to demonstrate our shared and ongoing commitment to eradicating violence against women and girls and I would encourage anyone who has been affected or is committed to ending gender-based violence to join us. Support will also be available for anyone who needs it.”
Prior to the stalled event, the Police Commissioner will be supporting the No Excuse for Abuse March hosted by her Victim Care Merseyside partner Savera UK focused on raising awareness of so-called ‘honour’-based abuse and harmful practices in our communities.
This event will start in Williamson Square at 1.45pm with survivor testimony, drumming, dance and other performances, before attendees will be invited to march to Mann Island to join the community expo.
During the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism, there will be a social media campaign running on the Police Commissioner’s social media channels to highlight 16 key achievements from the VAWG delivery plan in more detail, from videos to interviews and more.
For more details on Savera UK No Excuse for Abuse March visit here.
To find out more on the Commissioners End Violence against Women and Girls event visit here.
To read the full progress report click here.