A new charter for tackling gender based violence in Tower Hamlets has been announced.
The charter offers practical support, such as the Sanctuary Scheme, to improve the security of a victim’s home and it promises ongoing work with children who live with domestic abuse. It also provides an additional commitment to lobby the government to make misogyny a hate crime.
Almost 70 per cent of domestic violence victims in Tower Hamlets are female and one in three women and girls will experience gender violence in their lifetime. The charter recognises that men and boys can be victims of domestic abuse and many of our services are available to male victims.
The launch of the Violence Against Women and Girls Charter coincides with the start of Safeguarding Month in Tower Hamlets. Safeguarding looks at the wider picture of child and adult abuse and neglect in the borough, and a programme of events will be taking place to help residents spot exploitation or abuse and raise concerns.
Councillor Asma Begum, Deputy Mayor and Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Equalities at Tower Hamlets Council, signed the charter with Mayor John Biggs on 31 October.
Councillor Begum said: “It is shocking that one in three women and girls will experience gender violence in their lifetime. This charter sets out our commitment to tackle gender-based violence and discrimination in the borough.
“Although we are committed to doing all we can to locally to achieve this, I would call on the Government to do more to protect women and girls from the harmful impacts of misogyny by making it a hate crime. Gender based abuse has no place in communities today.”
Mr Biggs added: “The signing of the charter marks the start of a series of activities in Safeguarding Month to raise awareness and tackle abuse and neglect. Abuse can take many forms, and includes domestic abuse, financial abuse, scamming, self-neglect and human trafficking.
“As we go into Safeguarding Month, I would urge residents to recognise the signs of abuse and to report any concerns for the safety of an adult or child. We will continue to work together to stamp out all abuse.”
Sir Sam Everington, Chair of Tower Hamlets CCG, said: “Effective safeguarding is fundamental to the CCG and we work with a range of partner organisations to ensure the borough’s most vulnerable children and adults are protected from harm.
“Local people are encouraged to visit the wide range of community roadshows and events taking place around the borough to raise awareness of safeguarding issues this Safeguarding Month.”
In support of Safeguarding Month, which runs from 1-30 November, Cabinet approved the Local Safeguarding Children Board’s annual report and the Safeguarding Adults Board’s annual report.
Each board is made up of a number of organisations in the borough who come together to prevent and tackle abuse. The annual reports collectively set out the progress, achievements and learning from each board over the previous year.