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College event raises awareness of violence against women

An event to recognise the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women was marked with seminars, speakers and information stalls at New City College Havering Sixth Form.

Attended by more than 800 students – with 400 joining lectures and seminars – the campaign was held to raise awareness on the issue of violence against women, with the recent cases of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa being highlighted.

External speakers from organisations including Survivors Together (survivors of sexual violence), the St Giles Trust (a group working with young people affected by violence) Forward (an anti-Female Genital Mutilation FGM charity), and Survivors of FGM and Domestic Violence, gave presentations and recounted personal, sometimes harrowing experiences, in order that students were informed and aware.

Other groups and societies such as Havering’s Women’s Aid, Go Girls and Student Services from the college ran stalls where students could make anti-violence keyrings and badges and learn about all forms of violence towards women and girls, including sexting, sexual harassment and upskirting, as well as consent and what it means.

Phil Hall, Deputy Principal of the campus in Wingletye Lane, Hornchurch, said: “The day was a huge success and it further upskilled our students’ knowledge on this key and prevalent area. At NCC we understand the importance of helping to keep our students safe, as well as ensuring that they understand that violence against women needs to be eliminated.”

Speaker Odunayo Oluwadare, from Forward, said: “The students engaged very well and I was impressed by the knowledge some of them already had regarding FGM. Many of them were surprised to hear how severe the consequences of FGM could be and how prevalent it is around the world, including in the UK! As a result, quite a few students requested to know more about our organisation and how they can further support the fight against violence.

“All the speakers who attended agreed that the event was a great initiative and an important part of raising awareness. This is something that would be great to see in more colleges and schools.”

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