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19th Jan, 2022

Campaign to prevent male violence in Warwickshire stepped up

A CAMPAIGN to prevent male violence in Warwickshire is being stepped up.

Warwick and Leamington MP Matt Western is calling on women and vulnerable men to respond to a questionnaire on his website, aimed to help authorities gauge where people believe problems lie, enabling him to build a campaign based on the responses.

It will also give women and vulnerable men, including members of the LGBT+ community, a chance to share their experiences of male violence without fear of reprisals.

Concerned clubbers have recently written to Mr Western calling for increased security at clubs and pubs in Leamington after a spate of date-rape drug attacks.

He also says it could help educate schoolchildren about conduct, consent, male violence and early signs of misogyny.

Mr Western told the Observer: “The tragic cases of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman reminded us all of the threats that women can face in the street.

“But women also face violence at home with figures revealing the Government’s failure to prosecute for domestic abuse and rape.

“And recent homophobic assaults in nearby Birmingham show it is not just women who are vulnerable to male violence.

“However, it is deeply shocking that a woman is killed by a man every three days in the UK, statistics show.

“I want to generate enough data to build a credible campaign based on your preferences.

“Whether it is calling for much-needed education in schools, reinstating Warwickshire Police’s domestic abuse officers or switching streetlights back on at night.”

In 2013 some 20 domestic abuse support officers were cut from the police force and, following the Sarah Everard case, more than 5,000 people signed campaigner Chloe Fojtik’s petition calling on streetlights in the county to be turned on at night.

Warwickshire County Council said it was committed to tackling male violence towards women, girls and vulnerable men through its Warwickshire Serious Violence Prevention Strategy.

A spokesman said: “We look forward to discussing the opportunities for working together with Matt Western, in the knowledge that addressing violence caused by males cannot be achieved through a single action or a single agency.”

Similarly, Warwickshire Police and Crime Commissioner Philip Seccombe said tackling violence against women and girls was a focus of his police and crime plan.

This includes information submitted by people in Warwickshire through the Government’s StreetSafe website and Government’s Safer Streets funding of £249,000 for more mobile CCTV cameras and educational programmes designed to improve public safety.

Mr Seccombe added: “This sits alongside the well-established programme of work being undertaken by the multi-agency Warwickshire Violence Against Women and Girls Board, which includes initiatives that seek to change the behaviour of men who are violent to women, and work to change wider societal attitudes, including hate incidents and misogyny in all its forms.

“It’s important that all partners play their part in making Warwickshire safer and so I will welcome any support that our MPs can give us in tackling these issues.”

Visit mattwestern.org/survey-womens-safety-in-warwickshire/ to fill out the survey which can be done so anonymously.

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