Nov 23 2012

Susan Says: Tackling Domestic Violence

On Wednesday 21st November an event in support of White Ribbon Day was held at Harrow Civic Centre. Campaigners, members of voluntary groups, police representatives, elected Members and Council staff joined together to raise awareness of issues surrounding domestic violence in recognition of the International Day Elimination of Violence Against Women, which takes place on Sunday 25th November.

Conservative Group Leader, Susan Hall who attended the event, urged Harrow to raise awareness of domestic violence and for a renewed commitment to tackling it. She said “Up and down the UK and indeed all over the world, White Ribbon Day – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – is being marked by awareness events and fundraisers. Attending the Harrow Council event, I was privy to a new wealth of information on the efforts being made to combat domestic violence in Harrow and across the UK. I was also
fascinated to discover a hugely welcome legal change of which I was not previously aware.”

Cllr. Hall explained: “From March 2013, the legal definition of ‘domestic violence’ will contain 16 and 17 year-olds for the first time. This follows on from research showing the 16-19 age bracket is the most likely to suffer abuse from a partner. The new definition will also include controlling and coercive behaviour; broadening this heinous act to a wider range of conduct than ever before. And this welcome announcement represents a perfect opportunity for the Government and Local Authorities alike to reaffirm their commitment to tackling these serious

Cllr. Hall continued: “While resources may be scarce, and I know concerns have been raised across the country regarding the funding of services for domestic violence victims, if we are to take seriously the issue of crime in our local area we must also take seriously the issue of domestic violence. It is just one dimension of violence against women, which affects the whole of society – with over a million women in the UK each year suffering abuse, and with the highest repeat victimisation rate of any crime.”

Concluding, Cllr. Hall said: “White Ribbon Day, especially coming so soon after the welcome change in the definition of domestic violence, is an ideal opportunity to reaffirm our commitment to tackling this vital issue. We cannot afford to stay silent on such an important and prominent problem which affects too many people – in every avenue of our society.”

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