White Ribbon Day - Sussex Police supports campaign to end violence against women and girls
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Sussex Police is once again supporting White Ribbon Day as part of its continued commitment to tackling violence against women and girls.
This year’s White Ribbon Day (25 November) is focused on encouraging individuals and organisations to make consistent choices and actions to #ChangeTheStory for women and girls, so they may live free from the fear of violence.
Sussex Police is proud to have been White Ribbon accredited for a number of years.
Central to that commitment is listening to the lived experiences of women and girls, to understand what more we can do, alongside our partners, to protect them.
At the end of 2021, we received more than 2,300 responses from people in Sussex to a survey about their experiences of violence.
That feedback has led to a range of new initiatives introduced over the last two years to improve our service, including:
Multi-agency Victim Hub
Having to relive what happened when reporting a violent crime to different people and multiple times can be difficult and retraumatising.
Our new Victim Hubs give victims a single point of contact throughout their journey.
We now have specialist Victim Hubs which operate across the county. The hubs review crime reports every day, referring victims to specialist support services and coordinate tailored support for individual victims.
We introduced a Complex Domestic Abuse and Stalking Unit in 2022 – a dedicated team of officers, staff and partner agencies focused on perpetrators causing the most harm.
The multi-agency CDASU has a specific emphasis on early intervention, to better understand the root causes of perpetrators’ behaviour and look to bring about long-term change.
It ties in perfectly with White Ribbon Day’s commitment to #ChangeTheStory, by challenging the attitudes and behaviours that underpin violence to women and girls, and putting steps in place to root them out altogether.
The unit has built on our existing commitment to tackling repeated violent behaviour, including coordinating all court applications for Stalking Protection Orders to greatly reduce repeat offenders’ ability to cause harm.
Earlier this year the CDASU was recognised as a regional winner in the inaugural National Police Chief’s Council and College of Policing Awards.
Night Safety Marshals, dedicated patrols and more
Women and girls should be free to live without fear of violence in public and in private.
Over the last few years we have introduced a range of measures to keep women and girls safe in public, particularly around the night-time economy where perpetrators may be more likely to target victims.
We have launched teams of Night Safety Marshals in Brighton and Crawley, with more to be rolled out across the county. The specially trained team are deployed at hotspots in the night-time economy to spot vulnerability and people in need, and support policing operations.
They are part of a multi-layered safety net designed to protect people in public. Other recent additions include taxi marshals to help you get home safe; additional CCTV including a dedicated drone to monitor hard to reach areas like the beach; increased patrols focused on stopping violence against women and girls and a range of community improvements alongside local councils such as improved lighting and accessibility.
Superintendent Adele Tucknott, Sussex Police’s lead for Violence Against Women and Girls, said: “Sussex Police is proud to support White Ribbon Day and its hugely important message. But our work to tackle violence against women and girls is a year-round commitment.
“Violence against women and girls takes many forms and it requires buy-in from everyone in society to challenge the behaviours and attitudes that fuel these horrific crimes.
“Protecting and supporting victims is of course central to our approach. But we are also committed to identifying and engaging with perpetrators to bring about long-term behavioural change.
Police & Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne said: “Putting victims’ voices first, providing specialist and tailored support for victims will always be one of my top priorities as Police & Crime Commissioner. We must never be become complacent, and will always continue to look for any gaps in provision to further help and support those who are vulnerable to this dreadful crime.
“I am pleased that Sussex Police continue to implement initiatives to protect the most vulnerable in Sussex. I will continue to work alongside them to ensure they have the resources they need and my office will keep raising awareness with the public about how to end violence against women and girls.”