Camden Women’s Forum launch new inquiry to tackle domestic violence
The Camden Women’s Forum have launched a new inquiry to prevent and tackle domestic violence and abuse in Camden, with a focus on the impacts this has on children and young people.
In 2019, the Women’s Forum was established to bring together a range of experts from across the borough to discuss complex issues and barriers facing women and girls in Camden.
The forum’s latest inquiry, which launched in April, focuses on preventing and tackling domestic violence and abuse, as well as how this violence affects children and young people now and in the future.
The inquiry will collect evidence from women who are survivors of domestic violence and abuse. The forum will work with local and national support organisations, healthcare services, schools, and the voluntary and community sector to understand the issues surrounding domestic violence and abuse. It will also look into what needs to change or improve to further support women who are survivors as well as children and young people who have been exposed to domestic abuse.
The forum will produce recommendations on how the Council, partners and communities can work together to ensure women in Camden are given the support needed to live a life away violence and abuse. A report with the forum’s full findings is due to be published later in summer.
In Camden, we have a longstanding commitment to doing everything we can to tackle and prevent domestic violence as well as support survivors to live free from fear and abuse.
We are also focussing on how we can support children and young people experiencing domestic abuse at home. As part of this work, we have rolled out training for school staff to help recognise when children might have experienced trauma as well as encouraging schools to teach about the importance of healthy relationships and mental health and wellbeing as part of their curriculum. We’ve also developed a protocol to ensure that domestic violence survivors are prioritised for training and employment support.
However as always there is more to do and sadly, the reported incidents of domestic violence and abuse have risen during the pandemic, adding more urgency to an already critical situation. Our next Women's Forum inquiry will go a long way to helping us understand what needs to further change and improve to support people and their families who have experienced domestic violence and abuse.
Being at home should be a safe place for everyone and is something many of us take for granted. Please remember if you are experiencing abuse or violence you are not alone, and we are here to support you in every way we can.
Women are both more likely to be victims of domestic abuse and more likely to experience repeated and severe forms of domestic abuse. I’m glad that the Women’s Forum are taking action on this issue and that engaging with survivors is at the heart of our approach.
The coronavirus pandemic has meant that domestic abuse helplines have seen huge increases of demand and for many victims currently experiencing domestic abuse, their abuse has worsened. This makes our inquiry even more important, and I’m looking forward to working with victims, survivors and professionals across Camden on this inquiry.
In April, the Domestic Abuse Bill received Royal Assent which means this bill is now recognised by law. The new legislation also places a duty on local authorities in England to provide support to survivors of domestic abuse and their children in refuges and other safe accommodation.
Commenting on the passing of this Bill, Cllr Mason added: “The passing of this Bill will make a huge difference to the lives of many survivors and their children in the borough. We’ve taken action to improve services for survivors accessing housing support, with those at risk or experiencing abuse being able to receive high priority for offers of council homes but we will continue to go further to ensure all those that need it can seek the help and protection they need.”
The Act will also give those who are homeless as a result of domestic abuse priority need for accommodation secured by the council, helping to ensure survivors do not remain with their abuser for fear of not having a roof over their head.
If you are experiencing domestic abuse, of any form, need support or advice, or you are worried about a friend or relative’s relationship, please contact:
Camden Safety Net, Mon-Fri 9am-5pm, Tel: 0207 974 2526, email: Camdensafetynet@camden.gov.uk
In an emergency always call 999, or for non-emergency matters with which you require police assistance please call 101.
For more information and support on domestic violence, including information on spotting the key signs of domestic abuse or unhealthy relationships head to camden.gov.uk/domestic-violence