Community unites against domestic abuse

 

Croydon is adding its support to White Ribbon Day to demonstrate its commitment to changing attitudes to domestic abuse and sexual violence, and reducing offences.

White Ribbon Day takes place annually on 25 November to coincide with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

The campaign includes 16 days of activism, from the 25th, and the council is marking this by uniting the men of our community to share different messages against this crime.

From today posters placed in the Whitgift Shopping Centre and Access Croydon will show men of all ages and backgrounds encouraging others to support those affected by domestic abuse and sexual violence.

A poster telling people where to report domestic abuse will be displayed on the notice boards of council flats throughout the borough.

Councillor Hamida Ali, cabinet member for communities, safety and justice

“Croydon takes a zero-tolerance stand against domestic abuse, and three years ago was proud to receive the White Ribbon Campaign (WRC) town award for its work to condemn violence against women, increasing awareness of the issue and providing services aimed at reducing incidents.

“We are keen to strengthen our work with schools and GPs, providing training and awareness-raising to reach as many people as we can.

“In the New Year a referral programme will be offered to help people who have been abusive to their partners, with the aim of helping them achieve a better understanding of why they have used violence and aggression in their relationship and to help them stop.”

Croydon Council and its partners have already ensured support services and a range of interventions for high-risk victims, and a range of provision at the Family Justice Centre, which supports victims (and families) who are at risk and vulnerable.

Domestic abuse advisers have also been placed within the community to identify and respond to those experiencing, or affected by, domestic abuse, supporting professionals working directly with families in schools, children’s centres and health centres.

The council sought people from a range of backgrounds, including faith-based, community and voluntary groups as well as schools and GPs to come forward and form part of this well-informed network.

Network members receive information on the latest events and news regarding changes in the law related to DASV, what is working well to help people in other areas, and access to training.

The training ensures they are equipped to offer their communities advice and support, including signposting to specialist services, enabling more people to receive help sooner.

The aim is to help tackle this crime on a wider scale by increasing knowledge of it, and raising confidence to report it.

The council is training volunteers from Croydon College as student ambassadors to raise awareness of domestic abuse within the student community, and to signpost those who might be affected to specialist support.

The council and Croydon University Hospital also have HR policies in place to support staff that experience DASV.

Earlier work to support the campaign’s aims is already having an impact across the borough.

Family Justice Centre staff worked hard to build stronger relationships with the police and the council’s housing department so that victims receive quicker, more holistic care and support.

This includes placing an independent domestic violence advocate (IDVA) at Windmill Road police station and Croydon University Hospital since last year.

Crystal Palace FC and the Crystal Palace FC Foundation are also backing the campaign; the club supports the challenge to change attitudes through its ongoing sport and educational programmes.

If you need help or know someone who does, contact the Family Justice Centre on 020 8688 0100 or call the 24-hour national domestic violence free on 0808 2000 247.

If you need information and support to help you stop being violent and abusive to your partner, call the Respect phone line on 0808 802 4040.

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