Multi-agency conference held to update on work to tackle violence against women and girls

Cumbria Police hosted a multi-agency ‘Changing Culture’ conference last week as part of work to tackle violence against women and girls (VAWG) in the county.

The conference was held at The Roundthorn Hotel in Penrith on Tuesday (3 Oct), with more than 100 people from different organisations in attendance.

Detective Chief Inspector Hayley Wilkinson, Cumbria Police’s Professional Standards Department, said: “We were delighted with the attendance for the event, which served to highlight the importance agencies across Cumbria are putting on tackling violence against women and girls.

“Whilst we as a Constabulary were able to inform people about the steps we have taken to better support victims and pursue perpetrators, the day was also a great opportunity to learn about the services and resources other agencies are committing to helping protect and support women and girls in Cumbria.”

The conference was opened by Cumbria Police’s Deputy Chief Constable Darren Martland who spoke about learning from recent high-profile cases and the importance of public confidence in policing.

Cumbria Police’s Inspector for VAWG, Matt Belshaw presented the Constabulary’s VAWG strategy and on-going efforts bring perpetrators to justice and bring about better outcomes for victims.

Detective Constable Susanne Hayward of Cumbria’s Professional Standards Department spoke about Abuse of Power for Sexual Purpose, how to spot the signs and how the police approach allegations of misconduct within its own organisation.

The conference closed with a presentation from a guest speaker from Westmorland and Furness Council – Specialist Domestic Abuse Worker Julie Graham.

Julie spoke on topics including domestic abuse in the workplace, the role of employers in supporting victims and strategies for dealing with perpetrators.

She said: “It was great to be part of the Changing Cultures conference and meet so many agencies with a passion and commitment to supporting all survivors of domestic abuse.

“Employers have a responsibility to their staff which includes adopting a zero-tolerance approach to perpetrators of abuse as well as implementing support and safety measures for survivors.

“Statistics show that one in four women and one in six men will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. This includes our colleagues, friends and family members. Domestic abuse is everybody’s business and working together in partnership will achieve the strongest outcomes.”

 

 


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