Changing the story on violence against women and girls

Published: Tuesday, 28 November 2023

Havering Council is once again putting its support behind this year’s White Ribbon Day and 16 Days of Action campaigns towards the prevention of violence against women and girls.

As part of this, the Council’s community safety teams backed the annual International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) on Saturday (25 November 2023).

It also marks the start and includes work towards the prevention of all gender-based violence (running until 10 December 2023).

The theme of the campaign this year is “Change the story”.

This is to encourage individuals and organisations to make consistent choices and actions so that women, girls and all genders may live their lives free from fear of violence.

It wants to show that even the smallest actions can affect big change.

Events and work taking place either led or supported by the community safety teams include: 

  • a drop-in event alongside police and TfL on Friday 1 December, 1pm-4pm, at Romford Welfare Hub, South Street
  • a focus on raising awareness amongst younger people, such as those of school age, to help support them in negative situations. Also to help create positive attitudes that will affect actions in later life to be more positive
  • handing out information and providing a visible presence in town centres at night during the rest of November and into December
  • speaking to licensees about what can be done to help residents and visitors feel safe on their premises
  • sharing information of where residents can get immediate help if their lives are in danger and report concerns confidentially across the borough
  • help and support provided via the Council’s Independent Domestic Violence Advocate (IDVA) service. Including being able to speak to specially-trained officers in the community safety team

There is also continuing partnership working with external organisations locally to help change behaviours of offender.

This is in the hope it will prevent further violence against women and girls.

These partners include the Safer Neighbourhood Board, police and Havering Women’s Aid.

Together they help to support initiatives such as the Ask Angela scheme.

This is available for residents and visitors who may feel unsafe, vulnerable or threatened in local bars and venues.

They can discreetly seek help by approaching staff, using the code name ‘Angela’.

Councillor Ray Morgon, Leader of Havering Council, said: 

“We want our residents to feel safe and feel confident that they can get the help they need on their doorstep.

"This is why it is so important that we support annual campaigns such as this.

“No one should suffer in silence. We want residents to know that if they are experiencing domestic violence or abuse in any shape that there is help out there for them.

"We also want to encourage people to report concerns as that is where we can all help to change the story around domestic and gender-based violence.”