Wolverhampton's Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy seeks to tackle domestic or sexual violence, female genital mutilation, so-called 'honour-based' violence, forced marriage and stalking and harassment.
The three-year plan, developed by the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, builds upon the significant achievements of previous incarnations which have led to marked improvements in policy, partnership working and practice in order to safeguard and reduce risk to individuals.
The 2019-22 strategy seeks to further reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls; build the skills and capability of local agencies to provide effect advice and support services; reduce serious harm resulting from violence against women and girls; and increase the number and rate of reported offences brought to justice.
It also seeks to further improve the criminal justice response to supporting victims of violence against women and girls; increase early identification and intervention with victims of violence against women and girls; increase the number of perpetrators and offenders who are managed to reduce risk; and reduce the rate of repeat incidents of domestic violence.
The draft Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2019-22 can be found at https://bit.ly/2SVwBa0. People can have their say by visiting https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/TWMBM5Q and completing a short survey, or they can email feedback to email@example.com. The closing date for comments is Tuesday 12 March.
The strategy, like its national counterpart, acknowledges that, while the majority of victims are female, there are both male and female victims and it therefore encompasses work not only around women and girls, but also men and boys.
Mark Taylor, Chair of the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership, said: “Organisations in Wolverhampton are making good progress in tackling violence against women and girls, particularly around prevention, service provision, protection and justice, and performance and governance.
“These strands remain the cornerstones of the new strategy, along with the importance of effective partnership working and engagement with our communities.
"This consultation is a key opportunity for people to help influence how services to prevent violence against women and girls will be delivered over the next few years, and I would urge everyone to have their say."
Councillor Hazel Malcolm, the City of Wolverhampton Council’s Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “Organisations in Wolverhampton are working hard to improve the help and support available for victims of gender-based violence, but there is always more to do.
“Research suggests that incidents of domestic and sexual violence, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence and female genital mutilation are still under-reported; through this strategy, we want to raise awareness of the issues, encourage individuals and communities to report cases to the authorities and further improve services available to them."
The issue of violence against women and girls is highlighted by the Orange Wolverhampton campaign, which takes place annually between 25 November, International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls, and 10 December, UN Human Rights Day. For more information, please visit www.orangewolves.net.
Anyone suffering from domestic violence, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence or sexual violence, or knows someone who is, should call the relevant helpline:
- The Haven Wolverhampton 24-hour helpline for women - 08000 194400
- St George's Hub support for male victims - 01902 421904
- National Domestic Violence helpline for women - 0808 2000 247
- National Domestic Violence helpline for men - 0808 8010327
- NSPCC FGM helpline - 0800 028 3550
- Karma Nirvana helpline for victims of so-called ‘honour-based’ violence and forced marriage - 0800 5999 247
- Wolverhampton Adults Social Care - 01902 551199
- Wolverhampton Children's Social Care - 01902 555392
In an emergency, always call police on 999.