Virtual programme of activities to mark the 16 Days of Activism
Residents and businesses are invited to join the Northampton Community Safety Partnership in making a stand against gender-based abuse during 16 Days of Activism (25 November to 10 December).
This year, the partnership will host a virtual programme of activities to raise awareness of the world’s most persistent violations of human rights – violence against women and promote the local support services available to women who experienced physical or sexual violence and domestic abuse.
The Community Safety Partnership will provide leaflets, posters and information baubles to workplaces, retailers and venues across the town. Businesses and taxi drivers are also encouraged to place stickers in their windows, in support of the campaign.
In addition, Dawn Thomas the CEO of Northamptonshire Rape Crisis will be hosting a session over Zoom on Friday, 27 November, 12pm -1pm looking to cut the stigma and shame around rape, sexual violence and abuse that women and girls experience and promote the support available to victims. To book a place please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Councillor Anna King, Cabinet member for community engagement and safety, said: “As we continue to face restrictions to our daily lives, home is not always a safe place for people who are subject to domestic violence.
“Nobody should feel fear in their homes this is why our campaign this year aims not only to identify abusive behaviours but also to introduce to the public the many agencies that can help in all manner of situations. It is important that victims know how and where to get advice and support.
“Violence against women is not unavoidable; it’s preventable. Together we can make a difference by supporting women and girl survivors of violence to stay safe and free of violence.”
Pauline Woodhouse added: “As the Co-Chair of the Women’s Forum I welcome and support the 16 days of activism especially during this challenging year when being in self isolation is a burden for so many people. Now is more important than ever to highlight the support services available to local people in need of help.
“It is our business as local people to have an understanding and raise awareness where necessary about domestic abuse and sexual violence . Together we can make the world a safer place.”
On Saturday, 5 December Northampton Women’s Forum will host a virtual conference “BAME women in the public sphere” that will include community activists such as Pauline Woodhouse, Cllr Merlia Bryan, Cllr Pinder Chauhan and Cllr Raushan Ara. The event will be streamed live on Northampton Borough Council’s YouTube channel from 2.30pm.
Jen Castle, Detective Inspector at Northamptonshire Police, said: “Tackling domestic abuse and sexual violence is a priority for Northamptonshire Police. We work with partner organisations to better understand the risks individuals face and maximise the opportunities to help victims break the cycle.
“We have a specialist Domestic Abuse Team as well as a Rape and Serious Sexual Offences Team. Officers on these teams are dedicated to investigating and safeguarding the victims of these horrendous crimes. We’re also committed to addressing the welfare needs of those children exposed to domestic abuse.
“We urge victims of domestic abuse and/or sexual violence to report these crimes to us in the confidence that we will have a positive impact on their safety and wellbeing. Our message to victims is this – alongside partner agencies, we will seek to support you through these tough times.”
Rachel Duncan, Chair of Northamptonshire Against Domestic and Sexual Abuse, said: “ People all over the world will be raising awareness of gender-based violence during this 2-week international campaign and we ask you to join us and them by calling for an end to violence against women, in all of its forms.
“Raising awareness of violence against women and girls is so important, not just to keep it uppermost in people’s minds but throughout this campaign, we hope to share information about the services that are available here in Northamptonshire, who you can speak to if you are worried and help that you can access if you need to.
“Our messages remain the same to all survivors of abuse – you are not alone and help is out there.”