News from Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence

Monday, 25 November 2013

Rugby star supports SAY NO campaign

Today marks the launch of an international campaign aiming to end violence against women.
The Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence has pledged to support the White Ribbon Campaign, which urges men in the county to pledge never to condone or accept violence against women in any form.

Entitled The 16 Days of Action, the campaign will run until Tuesday, December 10.
Among those backing the campaign are the Worcester Wolves basketball team, former Worcester Warriors star Craig Gillies and Worcester City Council.
On Thursday dozens of men donned heels for a mile long walk in support of the campaign.
Mr Gillies said he was supporting the campaign for the second year.
“It's certainly a worthy cause,” he said. 

“It’s not something I've had personal experience of thankfully but it is an issue I've always felt a strong connection with. 

“Nobody should act that way towards a loved one.”

Martin Lakeman, strategic co-ordinator for the forum, said: “The 16 Days of Action was originally launched in Canada in 1991.

“The dates are symbolic, in that November 25 is International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Day and December 10 is International Human Rights Day.
“It’s an important event, as it helps to highlight what can be done to tackle violence against men, women and children at a local level, supported by events and activities throughout the world.”
Today’s launch event, at the University of Worcester, features Worcester’s Poet Laureate, Holly-Anne Perrett, as well as representatives from the Worcester Wolves, university students and staff, the Mayor of Worcester Pat Agar and High Sheriff Nicholas Wentworth-Stanley and his wife Millie.

After the launch event, Deputy Lieutenant Lady Susanne McFarlane will visit the Glade in Bransford – home to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre (SARC) – to tie a ribbon around the tree that Lord Lieutenant Lady Darnley planted 12 months ago.

Today also marks the official launch of the forum’s new website, where men can sign up and make their pledge, with the campaign – backed by your Worcester News – targeting 10,000 commitments before the end of the 16 days.

Mr Lakeman said: “Since the 16 Days campaign began in 1991, more than 2,000 organisations in 156 countries have taken part in a bid to tackle domestic abuse and violence against women.

“Worcestershire fully supports this ethos and is working hard locally to raise awareness and open up the channels of communication regarding what is so often a hidden issue.
“We are heartened by the level of support and interest that The 16 Days of Action campaign receives locally.

“We work hard all year round to raise awareness of the misery that domestic abuse causes to families throughout Worcestershire.

"However an event such as this really helps bring it to the forefront of people’s minds.
“Raising awareness of what is so often a hidden issue is vital in addressing – and ultimately overcoming – domestic abuse. The simple message is, do not suffer in silence.”
Visit to make your pledge, and tweet using #whiteribbonworcs to feature at

For further information about the Worcestershire Forum Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence please contact Martin Lakeman on 01905 822 357.

To call in confidence about domestic abuse, call 0800 9803331. 

Lady McFarlane joins The Glade to support White Ribbon Day

The Glade Sexual Assault Referral Centre is today 25 November 2013 welcoming Lady Susanna McFarlane, the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Herefordshire to join them and partners to mark White Ribbon Day – the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.

Emma Durmaz - SARC Manager & Forensic Nurse Examiner said "We are delighted that Lady McFarlane will be joining us as a special guest alongside police, and other partners to mark White Ribbon Day and to coincide with the launch day of 16 Days of Action against gender based violence.

"The day is even more important because it is also our first anniversary and Lady McFarlane will be tying the White Ribbon around the tree that Lord Lieutenant Lady Darnley planted a year ago to commemorate the opening of the Centre."

Since opening on 25 November 2012, The Glade’s two centres based in Worcestershire and Telford have helped 239 men, women and children who have been raped or sexually assaulted find the support they require.

The event will also include a tour of the SARC to raise awareness of the support that is available to men, women and children as we want to encourage more people who have been raped or seriously sexually assaulted to come forward and seek help.

Emma continued "The Glade is open 24/7 to support you whether the assault has just happened or happened some time ago maybe when you were a child. Please do not hesitate to contact us on 0808 178 2058 as we can offer immediate support and medical attention to check your health and well-being as well as longer term counselling and other services to help you come to terms with what has happened to you. Please do not keep it to yourself, we have helped many people and you are not on your own.

"Deciding what to do next is a difficult decision for anyone but we want to help you by explaining and supporting you through the options available.

It can take some people a lifetime before they seek help and report a rape to the police or other agency. Please remember, it is never too late. This is normal.

One option is to assist the police by providing forensic evidence and information anonymously. This means you will not be identified to the police.
Any information you pass on helps the police to track crime patterns and build a profile of a perpetrator that could assist other similar investigations. However the Police cannot prosecute anyone for your assault without your support.

If you are unsure, we can arrange an informal chat with the police without them knowing who you are. We will support you through this, but it is your decision.

If you do decide to report an assault to the Police your identity will remain anonymous. The law protects you by giving anonymity to victims of sexual assault for your lifetime. This means that no information likely to lead to your identification as a victim can be published or broadcast.
The International Day for the elimination of Violence Against Women, also known as White Ribbon Day is an opportunity for people around the world to speak out, stand up and wear a ribbon for the women in their lives by pledging never to commit, condone or remain silent about violence towards them.

Supt Graeme Pallister said "If you know anyone who has been raped or sexually assaulted, please urge them to seek help by talking to someone about what has happened to them. There are many agencies that want to help.

"We would ask men in the region to show their support of the women in their lives by visiting to check they and their friends fully understand consent.
White Ribbon Day is about ending violence against women, but we are here to help and support men and children who can be raped too.

The campaign was launched in June 2013 by police, health, councils and support agencies across the Warwickshire and West Mercia region.

Monday, 11 November 2013

Former Head of CEOP backs campaign

Jim Gamble the founder and former Head of The Child Exploitation Online Protection Service (CEOP) has lent his support to the Worcestershire Forum against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence's SAY NO to domestic abuse and sexual violence campaign which runs from the 25th November to the 10th December. 

Known nationally at the White Ribbon campaign, Worcestershire is seeking to secure 10,000 pledges of support. Mr Gamble was also previously the national lead for both Child Protection and Domestic Abuse, said he was delighted to be able to support the campaign. He was the keynote speaker at a conference held in Worcestershire on 8th November which focused around sexual exploitation. 

To find out more about the campaign and make your pledge go to

Monday, 4 November 2013

Teenspeak Campaign

The voices of children and young people, their experiences and needs are an integral part of the work done at Women’s Aid. We want to ensure that approaches from services and policies consistently includes the views of children and young people affected by domestic violence, especially during times where external changes may have an impact on their daily lives when dealing with domestic abuse.

Teenspeak is a campaign we developed that enables young people affected by domestic abuse, including intimate partner violence, to voice their concerns and needs to policy makers and professionals actively involved in addressing violence against women and girls and hear their response.
We collected questions from young people who have experienced domestic abuse from across England. The questions were used in interviews of five leading people in education, government and criminal justice, which were filmed by 3 young survivors and made into 5 short films with the dedicated support from VividEcho and funding from the BBC Children In Need.
We are very excited to be launching the Teenspeak films at the Refuge in Film festival on the 1st November at the British Film Institute, South Bank.
The Teenspeak series of short films
Film 1 : Domestic Abuse- Introduction
Film 2 : Domestic Abuse- The Law
Film 3 : Domestic Abuse- Education
Film 4 : Domestic Abuse- Practical Information
Film 5 : Domestic Abuse- What can we do now?

All the interviews will be placed on The Hideout, a Women’s Aid website which helps children and young people to understand domestic abuse and provides advice on how to take positive action if they are experiencing it. Young people will have an opportunity to comment on the interviews. This educational resource can also be used as an extension activity to our Expect Respect Toolkit and Can You See Me? DVD and educational toolkit which focuses on intimate partner violence.
We are keen to have the views of young people about the information provided in the short films, and will be uploading then on the Women’s Aid Youtube where they can leave comments and questions.
We would be grateful if you could promote the films to your networks and post them on your site!

For any further information, please contact the Women’s Aid National Children and Young Person officer, Thienhuong Nguyen,