County takes on domestic abuse issue
WEST Lancashire Borough Council has shown its commitment to tackling domestic abuse by helping Lancashire lead the way in a major international movement.
The White Ribbon Campaign aims to end male violence against women.
The authority has joined the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, all the other local councils in the county and Lancashire police in becoming accredited as White Ribbon organisations.
This has led to Lancashire becoming the first White Ribbon county.
For an organisation to gain accreditation, it must have an action plan to raise awareness of the anti-violence against women and girls campaign.
Key points in the borough council’s action plan include:
Implementing a domestic abuse policy for all its staff.
Ensuring that its training strategy includes domestic abuse awareness training for all relevant frontline staff.
Work with sports clubs and music venues on how they can inform men about violence against women and girls and encourage them to challenge it.
Cllr Kevin Wright, portfolio holder for health and community safety, said: “I am delighted that West Lancashire Borough Council has played a part in making Lancashire the nation’s first White Ribbon county.
“The borough council’s action plan shows our commitment to this campaign against domestic violence and we will continue work with partners to tackle this terrible crime.”
Dave Tilleray, chairman of the West Lancashire Community Safety Partnership, said: “The partnership is happy to support the White Ribbon Campaign and we hope men will make their stand to condemn violence against women.”
The county bid for White Ribbon Campaign status for Lancashire was co-ordinated by the office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.
PCC Clive Grunshaw said: “Violence against women and girls is unacceptable and shockingly over 90% of domestic abuse is witnessed by children.
“This has to stop and anything we can do to tackle the issue and get people talking about it has to be a good thing.”
The council is also active in tackling domestic violence issues in other ways.
It is playing a leading role in the “Don’t be a bystander” campaign which aims to help encourage people who think that a friend, relative or colleague is suffering from domestic violence, to get support, advice or assistance.
It also gives some financial support to The Liberty Centre (formerly Domestic Violence Support Services West Lancashire) and has assisted with successful funding applications to the Government and other organisations.
For more information on domestic abuse, visit www.westlancs.gov.uk/ domesticviolence and the Liberty Centre website www.dvsswl.org.uk.
PCC Clive Grunshaw next to an advert for Lancashire Victim Services, one of the county’s ways of helping victims of domestic violence