A 16-day programme of activities to raise awareness and help tackle incidents of violence against women and girls has begun.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence is an international campaign to challenge violence against women and girls. The annual campaign runs from Wednesday (25 November) – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – to Thursday 10 December (Human Rights Day).
“We stand firmly committed to ending incidents of violence against women and girls,” said Cllr Sue Fennimore, Deputy Leader of Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
“These horrific crimes often go unreported, or unnoticed – which is why it’s imperative to highlight its impact and to share how people who are the victims of this pernicious form of abuse can be supported.”
Get involved or learn more
Violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a form of discrimination and violation of human rights.
It is defined as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering. Anyone can experience VAWG, regardless of their gender, age, race, culture, sexuality or religion.
Last year, there were more than 3,300 incidents of domestic abuse reported in the borough. That’s why the council is working closely alongside 10 specialist organisations to ensure victims have access to the best possible support.
Perhaps you want to know more about how to help survivors to access support services, or just want to learn more generally about the inequality that women face when it comes to incidents of violence, particularly in the home.
If so, you can sign up to find out more, or see the full 16 Days of Activism events list.
Council marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women
Wednesday’s Council AGM coincided with the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
In a debate on the subject, Cllr Sharon Holder highlighted how one in three women and girls globally experience physical or sexual abuse by a partner and that 58 per cent of women who are killed die at the hands of a partner or family member. She said: “Many of us don’t fully understand or comprehend the range of violent abuses women and girls experience like rape, FGM, child abuse, coercive control, honour-based violence, economic, emotional or sexual abuse, pornography, prostitution and even human trafficking.”
Cllr Rachel Leighton cited Crime Survey figures showing that only 18 per cent of women who had experienced partner abuse in the last 12 months reported it. During the Covid crisis, she said, the United Nations has reported that all types of violence against women and girls, but particularly domestic violence, has intensified and increased.
Cllr Lisa Homan underlined this, saying that calls and contacts to the National Domestic Abuse Helpline during the Covid crisis had risen by 66 per cent and visits to its website were up 950 per cent. She thanked the voluntary sector in H&F for supporting services assisting victims of domestic violence.
She pledged: “Despite all the pressures facing this council, we recognise that this is a particularly difficult time for those at risk of domestic violence and we will continue to be fully committed to whatever we can do to support women in our borough.”
Help and support in H&F
If you’re experiencing abuse, you’re not alone. If you suspect someone is being abused, confidential help is available. H&F Council has commissioned The Angelou Partnership to deliver the borough’s Violence Against Women and Girls services.
For further advice, support and information on domestic violence, visit our dedicated website page here.
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