Reducing violence against women and girls remains top priority
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Compared to 2022, violent offences against women and girls in 2023 has fallen by 13.6% in Essex. That's 5,217 less offences reported. There was also 12.1% decrease in the number of sexual offences against women and girls. And our officers solved 14.3% more sexual offences committed against women or girls too.
While this is of course good news, we want to drive these crimes down even more. We will carry on working with our communities and partner organisations to take action against those who commit these crimes. We will also work hard to encourage people to ask for help and provide support to those who need it.
Throughout February we will continue to run our #Reflect campaign in partnership with the Southend, Essex and Thurrock Domestic Abuse Partnership (SETDAB). We will focus on areas where we're told women and girls feel more vulnerable, as well as information gathered through a safety survey
Chief Superintendent, Claire Talbot, who leads our work around violence against women and girls said:
“We are committed to tackling violence against women and girls. We understand the complexities around reporting this type of crime, especially if it happens within a home. But we want to urge anyone who is, or has been, subjected to abuse to come forward, seek support or report it to us. “We are proud that we continue to deliver a reduction in violence against women and girls. And we are equally as proud that we are solving more of these crimes. It means offenders are being held accountable for their actions and victims are getting the help they need. But there is always more we can do. Our #Reflect campaign allows us to start a conversation and offer support to both victims and perpetrators. “By asking perpetrators to consider their actions and supporting them in changing their behaviour, the less victims there will be.”
Our #Reflect message will be on digital screens at railway stations, bus stations and in High Streets across the county. You will also see our message on ITV and your mobile phones too.
We are working with local businesses to offer more support to victims of abuse. This includes those in the hospitality industry. We are teaching employees what signs may indicate that someone is a victim of domestic abuse, and showing them how they can safely offer help.
Jane Gardner, Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex and chair of SETDAB, said:
“Raising awareness of the devastating impact of male violence, abuse, sexual abuse and misogyny is key to reducing violence against women and girls. Digital van displays such as this are vital to help people understand the importance of this issue and realise there is help available to create and maintain healthy, mutually respectful relationships.”
Our #Reflect campaign launched in 2022 and led to more than 500 people contacting our partner charity, The Change Project. The Change Project offers counselling and support services to those who want to change their behaviour.
Last year we continued our work by also highlighting online stalking. This included attending Fresher's Fairs and speaking to students about social media stalking. We advised them how they can stay safe, and what to do if they think they, or someone they know, is a victim of stalking.
We also focused on consent by working to remind people that anyone has the right to say no, change their mind, or withdraw consent at any time. We want perpetrators to break the cycle of domestic abuse, by encouraging them to seek advice and try to reform.