Police and Crime Commissioners - Cleveland's Barry Coppinger, Northumbria's Vera Baird and Durham's Ron Hogg.
Cleveland’s Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger has said that a strategy to protect women and girls from abuse in the North East will not be allowed to gather dust on a shelf.
Work has already begun on the 20-point plan that highlights ways in which victims can be better supported and protected against perpetrators. All three Police and Crime Commissioners in the region are launching the strategy and will drive work in their respective areas.
Points on the plan also include a Police Rape Scrutiny Panel in Northumbria, Durham and Cleveland to examine case files which have failed to attain the requisite evidential level for prosecution or where a prosecution has failed, to see what lessons can be learned.
Domestic and Sexual Violence and Abuse Champions are being identified in a number of social settings including members clubs, groups, swimming pools, libraries – and also in the workplace. They will raise awareness and direct people towards support and advice and will be in place by March 2014.
The Violence Against Woman and Girls Strategy, which has the backing of Shadow Home Secretary Yvette Cooper, follows months of consultation with a range of partners and the North East Women's Network, and contains pledges around:
- Domestic and sexual violence and abuse
- Human trafficking and sex work
- Forced marriage and so-called honour crimes
- Harassment and stalking
- Female genital mutilation
Police and Crime Commissioner for Cleveland, Barry Coppinger, said: "This strategy is a working document; we are not simply paying lip service to dealing with the abuse of women and girls – it contains real actions that we have begun to implement.
"We cannot allow victims to fear coming forward. We must continue to talk about the abuse of women and girls, to bring it to the forefront and ensure justice is served.
"Sadly, abuse occurs in all walks of life and victims must be confident that their needs will be taken into account should they take the brave step to disclose information."
"We have a number of fantastic agencies in Cleveland who are working for the benefit of these victims. This regional plan will go further to support their work and encourage an increase in partnership arrangements for the benefit of the victim.
"I will be meeting with Cleveland partners in the New Year to discuss how we can work together to drive the plan forward for 2014."
Download a Summary of the Violence against Women and Girls Strategy (Adobe PDF Document, 2.5mB)
Download the Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy (Adobe PDF Document, 5.8mB)
Posted on Wednesday 11th December 2013