Newham

Pledge to make a stand to end violence against women

25 November 2016 in Events and Health
Newham residents are being urged to pledge to stand up to violence against women as part of an international campaign starting today (Friday 25 November).
The United Nation’s 16 Days of Action aims to raise awareness of the issue, and runs between Interrnational Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women (today) and Human Rights Day on Saturday 10 December.

As part of this campaign, people are being called on to pledge their support for tackling domestic violence by posting a picture of themselves on social media with the message ‘I will never commit, condone or stay silent about violence against women’.

They can post their pledge on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram using the hashtags #16Days and #Newham, nominating others to take part.

The Mayor of Newham Sir Robin Wales, and cabinet member for domestic violence, Cllr Lakmini Shah joined the speakers and attendees at a special event today to take part in a mass pledge and call on residents to get involved in the campaign..

In Newham, three out of four victims of domestic violence and nine out of ten victims of sexual violence are female. Between April 2014 and June 2016 more than 3,500 people contacted the Newham One Stop Shop, which provides confidential help and advice 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence.

Around 400 people attended today’s event designed to raise awareness of the services available to support victims. Sir Robin and Cllr Shah spoke at the event along with East Ham MP Stephen Timms, Newham Borough Superintendent Sean Yates and Heather Harvey of of Nia Project, who deliver services to end violence against women and girls.

There were also a range of performances from groups who have helped people regain their confidence after experiencing domestic violence. Information was available from local support agencies including Aanchal Womens Aid, Nia Project and Victim Support who are located at the  Newham One Stop Shop.

Figures show that:
  • in the UK, around one in four women experience domestic violence 
  • on average each year, around 85,000 women in England and Wales are victims of rape
  • nationally two women a week are killed by a partner, ex partner or family member
  • tackling domestic violence and supporting victims in Newham costs an estimated £28 million a year. This includes the cost to the police and other criminal justice agencies, the NHS, the council’s social care teams and the voluntary sector. Nationally this figure is estmated to be around £5.4 billion a year.

Sir Robin said: “There is absolutely no way domestic or sexual violence against anyone, male or female, can be condoned. It is a callous crime often carried out by someone known and trusted by the victim.

“We commission a wide range of services across the borough which are doing a fantastic job in supporting these victims. Initiatives like the 16 Days campaign are a great way of raising their profile but also for every resident to pledge their support to victims of domestic violence.”

Cllr Shah said: “I am delighted once again Newham is playing its part in raising awareness of these issues which have a major affect on victims for the rest of their lives. In Newham we have a zero tolerance to any forms of domestic or sexual violence.

“I am urging every resident to follow our lead and make a pledge to show anyone suffering domestic violence that we will support them and will not let the abuse continue. It is only by standing together united that we can put a stop to all forms of domestic and sexual violence.”

A candlelight vigil will also be held at East Ham Library on Friday 9 December, between 5.30pm and 6.30pm. Last year, more than 100 people took part, showing their solidarity with women who have been victims of domestic violence.

Anyone suffering from domestic or sexual violence can contact the Newham One Stop Shop on 0845 451 2547.  Information on the specialist services available to support victims can also be found at www.newham.gov.uk/dsv