Residents across Gwent are being asked to get involved and support White Ribbon Day on Thursday 25 November.
White Ribbon Day is an annual event that marks the United Nation’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
This year residents, businesses, schools and community groups are being asked to sign up to the #30Challenge to raise awareness of the 30 children every day in Gwent that are affected by incidents of domestic abuse at home where the police are called. Domestic abuse can take many forms including physical, coercive control, psychological abuse and financial abuse.
This figure comes from Operation Encompass which allows the police to tell schools about any child or young person who has been involved in an incident of domestic violence at home, enabling the school to ensure that the appropriate help and support is available.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “White Ribbon Day is extremely important to raise awareness of the devastating impact violence against women by men can have, not only on individuals but their families too.
“This year we are encouraging people to take part in a #30Challenge to raise awareness of just how many children and young people are innocent bystanders of domestic abuse incidents.
“The important part is that you support and encourage others to take a stand against violence against women and encourage anyone experiencing abuse to speak out and seek help. Please don’t suffer in silence, help is available.”
The #30Challenge is being organised by Gwent Regional VAWDASV Partnership Board which is a multi-agency collaboration working across Gwent to prevent violence against women, domestic abuse and sexual violence. It is being supported by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent and Gwent Police
The #30Challenge could be something you do alone, with a few people from your household, or as part of a group relay (in-line with any Covid regulations at the time).
People, families, schools, organisations, sports teams and community groups can set their own challenges focusing on the number 30 and are urged to post their actions of support online.
Educational workshops and lesson plans are being rolled out in schools across Gwent to raise awareness of the importance of healthy relationships with children and young people.
The challenge could take place on Thursday 25th November or anytime during the 16 days of action which ends on 10th December.
Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “We all have a part to play to end violence and abuse against women and girls.
“Domestic abuse, and other such crimes leave long lasting effects on survivors, but also those who may witness this behaviour.
“This is even more so when the witnesses are children.
“By standing up to violence we are all protecting women and children, but also ensuring that our future generation grow up in a world where respect for each other is a given.
“If you or anyone you know has been a victim of this crime, please come talk to us. “We’re here to help you”.
An online support pack is available to download from www.gwent.pcc.police.uk and includes challenge ideas, and suggested content for social media channels.
Business and organisations can also show their continued support by encouraging their staff to sign up for training, so they are equipped to recognise the signs of domestic abuse and understand what help is available.
Janice Dent, regional lead advisor for Gwent VAWDASV, said: “White Ribbon Day and the subsequent 16 days of action, enables everyone to stand up against violence against women.
“Now more than ever, there is a strong desire to challenge and speak up about male violence against women and girls. We all need to stand up and condemn all forms of violence and abuse against everyone in our society. To do this, there needs to be a cultural change and I fully believe this starts with educating our children and young people.
“By engaging children and young people in this campaign we aim to raise awareness of healthy relationships from an early age, and to promote the range of support services we have in Gwent to support anyone affected or if they are worried about their own behaviour or others.
“To eliminate domestic abuse, sexual violence and violence against women there needs to be a whole system approach to changing attitudes and behaviour, and not just for these 16 days.”