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Sunderland: serious case reviews published

Sunderland Safeguarding Children Board has published executive summaries of serious case reviews into the deaths of two teenage girls and an accompanying thematic report considering wider issues around services for vulnerable teenagers. Key issues include: complex and difficult family lives, risk taking behaviour, risk of sexual exploitation, and bullying at school and through social media.

'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

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.

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.

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.

United Nations committee finds UK women still can't access justice

The United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) Commission has published its findings after reviewing the UK Government’s submission on the impact of legal aid cuts on women affected by violence. The Committee finds some improvements but "notes the persistence of serious obstacles that still hamper effective access to justice by all women.".

The Committee recommends that, in its next periodic report due in July 2017, the Government provides information on further actions taken to: 

New child support system unsafe for survivors

Women's Aid and Gingerbread have joined together to warn that the Government’s new system for allocating child support is putting survivors of domestic abuse at rissk. In an article in the Independent the charities said the Child Maintenance Service (CMS) was both not safe for survivors of domestic abuse and could also see them missing out on payments they were entitled to. The CMS began to replace the Child Support Agency in 2012 but the charities say that serious problems have begun to emerge since it was set up, leaving it “not fit for purpose.

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