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People in Greater Manchester asked for views on tackling Gender-Based Violence

tackling Gender-Based Violence
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  • GMCA has developed proposals for 10-year strategy to tackle gender-based violence, which predominantly affects women and girls
  • Early engagement feedback leads to name change
  • Commitments expanded to include working with minoritized populations as well as work to anticipate the risk of hate crimes

GREATER Manchester today launches a public consultation to gain a wide range of views on proposals developed to tackle gender-based violence in the city-region, ranging from how men and boys treat women and girls to strengthening services for victims and survivors.

The proposals have been created as part of an ambitious 10-year Gender-Based Violence Strategy, which aims to improve the safety of mainly women and girls who are most at risk of gender-based abuse and violence. In light of the urgency to address gender-based violence, the public are being asked to provide their feedback on the plans put together by Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) to ensure it captures the right issues.

The plans for the Gender-Based Violence Strategy include looking at many different ways to combat it. This ranges from how men and boys treat women and girls to strengthening services for victims and survivors, which will include a public service campaign to raise awareness of the support available. The proposals will also look at health services, educational establishments, the criminal justice system and housing providers – including services for people who have been made homeless as a result of domestic violence.

Mayor of Greater Manchester, Andy Burnham, said: 

“I want the streets of Greater Manchester to be safe and welcoming for women and girls living, studying and working across our 10 boroughs. No-one should be made to feel intimated or threatened in our city-region. In my second term as Mayor I’ll be prioritising work in this area, including working to educate and change attitudes sadly too prevalent among some boys and men, so Greater Manchester becomes one of the safest places for girls and young women in the country to grow up and get on.

“We have been planning to launch the strategy to tackle all forms of gender-based violence in Greater Manchester for some time. We now want to begin consulting and listening to further feedback from the general public on what needs to be done, to help shape our ambitions and to ensure we change things for the better, together.”

Deputy Mayor for Policing, Crime, Criminal Justice and Fire, Bev Hughes, said:

 “Tackling gender-based violence is an area I’ve worked on for many years and we are committed to combating these harrowing crimes. We want a city-region that is safe for everyone regardless of your gender, whether at home, at school, college or university, at work or in groups and activities.

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“We will continue to listen to our citizens-young people as well as adults from all our different communities as we develop our 10-year Gender-Based Violence Strategy. Including the views and experiences of the people it effects is imperative to achieving the best we can and making this work in practice in our city-region.

“The proposals so far cover a wide range of issues we want to address, but it is important everyone in Greater Manchester gives us their feedback to help us get this right.”

Following feedback from the public as part of our initial engagement, the title has since been altered to ‘Gender-Based Violence’ from ‘Abuse’. This is because the term Gender-Based Violence is recognised nationally and internationally, underpinned by a United Nations convention. The definition of gender-based violence also emphasises everything that GMCA seeks to tackle in the strategy. The initial Strategy included practical proposals such as funding for specific services and projects, the training and development of frontline staff and public engagement campaigns.

There will also be the establishment of a new Gender-Based Violence Board who will drive the implementation of the Strategy over the next 10 years, which will include victims and survivors, and organisations that represent them, as co-chairs. The Board will have strong links with the Greater Manchester Women and Girls Equality Panel, its Violence Against Women and Girls Working Group and the Greater Manchester’s Race Equality Panel.

Three months ago, GMCA published the initial draft strategy online and invited people to share their views. Alongside the title change to Gender-Based Violence Strategy, the new version also contains a number of other amendments following on from feedback which include:

  • Working with organisations that are experts on minoritized communities to improve assessment procedures so social, emotional and economic needs are considered, as well as the potential risk for hate crimes
  • Gender-based violence data will be collected and local demand for services to meet the needs of all communities and demographic groups
  • Links established across local authorities for the provision of housing, care, and support for survivors of domestic abuse
  • The creation of a Greater Manchester Advocacy Standards Framework, compliant with the Violence Against Women and Girls Sector Share Core Standards, developed by Women’s Aid, Respect, Safe Lives, Imkaan and Rape Crisis England and Wales
  • Working with schools and teachers by inviting them to training events to ensure best practise is shared and celebrated.

The Gender-Based Violence Strategy also includes work to protect children. Over the next five years, Greater Manchester will continue to support Operation Encompass. This requires police officers who have attended a domestic abuse incident where a child is present to inform the child’s school by 9am the next teaching day, enabling schools to provide rapid support to the children affected.

There will also be a bespoke plan created to address how to effectively meet the needs of male victims and survivors. This will cover acts of violence, abuse and exploitation in which men or boys are the victims, and in which their gender, sexuality and/or intimate relationships are motivating or prevailing factors.

The consultation launches today and will close on Sunday, 1 August.

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