Over 40 representatives from various agencies attended a symposium this week aimed at building a shared approach to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls.
The event, jointly hosted by Police and Crime Commissioner Jonathan Evison and Humberside Police, examined what work is already ongoing, identifying joint working opportunities and agreeing a shared approach to reducing violence.
A recent interim report by HM Inspectors called for radical action to tackle the ‘stark and shocking’ level of violence against women and girls and urged police forces and partner agencies to build on current momentum to improve the service and support offered to those affected by these crimes, and enhance their capability and capacity to pursue and disrupt adult perpetrators of violent offences to reduce and prevent the harms they are causing.
In the Humber region, we rank fifth nationally for numbers of recorded domestic abuse, with around 75% of the total number of offences being against women. Nationally, annual data from the last two Crime Surveys for England and Wales, shows that women are the victims of 84% of all sexual offences, rising to 90% of all reported offences of rape.
It is recognised that there is no quick fix to end the violence but that we must take shared responsibility in addressing and calling out violence, abuse and harassment of women and girls.
PCC Jonathan Evison said: “Violence and abuse in all its forms, whether in a domestic setting, at a party, a park, on our streets or in a school will not be tolerated. We need women and girls to feel safe and listened to in coming forward with reports of abuse and we need our criminal justice system to work effectively for all victims and survivors. We must all be prepared, on a partnership basis, to prioritise tackling violence against women and girls and this will be one of the key priorities in my new Police and Crime Plan, which will be published in the Autumn.
“We must start with addressing the perpetrators of this violence and abuse. We live in a society and culture where misogyny and sexism have for too long been tolerated, where girls and women
are over-sexualised in the media and victims are wrongly often depicted as being somehow to blame for the crimes committed against them.
“This has to change, we need to focus on the perpetrators of this violence, those committing domestic abuse, sexual offences and harming our children. My Office has been instrumental in sourcing and providing funding to support victims and survivors through therapeutic services and support via Independent Sexual Violence Advisors, and there is other good work happening across our area, but there is much more still to do.
“By bringing our efforts together I am convinced we can go further. Now is the time for us all to act in partnership, in committing to focusing on perpetrators and tackling this epidemic of violence against women and girls, and I hope we will continue to take important steps towards that.”