'Your force, your priorities' - consultation dates confirmed

Vera Baird, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northumbria says “In 2012 when I was first elected as PCC for Northumbria I talked to local people to understand what their priorities were around policing and crime.  I used this information to set out the five priorities in my first Police and Crime Plan which are:

•Putting Victims First

•Dealing with Anti-Social Behaviour

•Domestic and Sexual Abuse

•Reducing Crime

•Community Confidence

MPs urge Government to review family courts

The government must carry out a full review of family courts to stop them being used by violent men to perpetuate abuse against their partners and children, MPs have said. They called on the justice secretary, Liz Truss, to act swiftly to tackle deep-seated cultural attitudes among family court judges which put the rights of abusive men over the safety of women and children.

Invest funding from Lloyds Bank Foundation

Lloyds Bank Foundation has opened the 2016 round of its Invest Programme providing longer term core or direct delivery funding for eligible charities that are delivering clear outcomes as a result of their work. Invest grants are from £10,000 up to maximum of £25,000 per year for two or three years, with the opportunity for continuation funding for a further period – up to six years in total. For more information visit the LBF website. The closing date for initial applications is 14th October 2016.

Refuges exempt from welfare reforms - confirmation

Today the Government has announced that domestic violence refuges will be fully exempt from two planned welfare reforms – the Local Housing Allowance (LHA) cap on housing benefit rates in supported accommodation, and the requirement for social landlords to reduce rents by 1% each year from 2017-2020.

Polly Neate, Chief Executive of Women’s Aid, said:

Child sexual exploitation and abuse in BME communities

Zlakha Ahmed of Apna Haq spoke on this issue at the NEEVAWG Network meeting last week. Apna Haq is based in Rotherham and has been working on issues of violence and abuse in Asian Communities for over twenty years. Zlakha talked about the invisibility of Asian children and young people in the media and in the public conversation around child sexual exploitation.

Independent Inquiry into Sexual Exploitation in Rotherham

An estimate that 1,400 children were sexually exploited in Rotherham between 1997 and 2013 is among the key findings of this independent report by Professor Alexis Jay into the handling of child sexual exploitation by social services and police in the South Yorkshire town. She finds there were systemic failures in the agencies responses and makes a series of recommendations.

Unheard voices: Sexual exploitation of Asian girls and young women

Muslim Women's Network UK conducted research into the hidden experiences of Asian / Muslim girls and young women so that everyone can better understand how to support and protect them.  A total of 35 case studies were collected.  The report highlights:

Profile of Victims

Profile of Offenders

Nature of the Exploitation

Barriers to Disclosure and Reporting

Factors Driving Sexually Abusive Behaviour

Family and Community Responses

Frontline Professional and Service Provider Responses

Update from Comic Relief

Paul Woodhead, Comic Relief's North East contact, spoke at the NEEVAWG Network Meeting last week. He explained that empowering women and girls remains a priority for the funder and addressing all forms violence against women and girls is a key element within that. Comic Relief is changing the way it makes grants - moving to shorter, more focused programmes that are only available for a limited amount of time e.g. the girls and gangs programme, which was available earlier this year.

Acorns needs you!

Acorns is a unique and well-respected charity working in North Tyneside, helping children and young people recover from the impact of domestic and sexual violence and abuse. Acorns is seeking new Trustees to help with the running of the organisation which is a registered charity and company limited by guarantee. For further information please email or ring 0191 200 6302 to speak to the Manager, Cath Lawson.

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