Oldham leaders condemn violence against women on special day

Date published: 25 November 2021

Today marks both the United Nations’ International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and White Ribbon Day.  

Both days, and the recognised 16 days of action to follow, are in aid of raising awareness of the scale of violence that women around the world are subject to, and the political leaders of Oldham have been out in honour of the occasion.

Council Leader, Arooj Shah and Deputy Council Leader, Amanda Chadderton, and have shown their commitment to tackling domestic violence across the borough by laying an orange wreath on the Annie Kenney statue. It supports this year’s theme, “Orange the World: Fund, Respond, Prevent, Collect”.

They were joined by councillors from all parties to show a collective commitment to the cause.

Oldham Council Leader, Arooj Shah, said: “Eliminating violence against women is at the forefront of our vision for Oldham, and we’ve been working closely with domestic abuse survivors this year to build a strategy in partnership to help achieve that vision.

“I’m proud to see representatives from different political parties here today which truly shows how important this issue is to so many of us. We must do everything we can to build a place free of misogyny and abuse so women can feel safe in their communities.”

Oldham Deputy Council Leader, Amanda Chadderton, said: “The reality is that harassment and the abuse of women are commonplace in our society and we’re failing them if we don’t do everything we can to change that.

"We’re seeing increases in serious domestic incidents in Oldham that we have to address. The Covid pandemic brought in extra tension and pressure for many so we must take action now.

“As a council and in collaboration with our community, we will continue to focus on this issue so we can best support victims and survivors of domestic abuse. I encourage everyone to have their say on our proposed domestic abuse strategy so we can build a way forward that listens to survivors and creates real change.”

Around the world, one in three women and girls experience physical or sexual violence in their lifetime. The White Ribbon Campaign recognises the positive role that men play in preventing violence against women, based on the understanding that most men are not violent. Oldham residents are being asked to show their support for the White Ribbon campaign  by wearing a White Ribbon or making the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

Oldham residents are also being asked to have their say on a new domestic abuse strategy. Written in collaboration with partners including Greater Manchester Police, health and housing services, and community groups, the three-year domestic violence strategy pledges to invest in, increase and improve our support offer for victims and survivors so they can move on with the lives they want to lead, free from abuse.

You can share your views on the strategy up until 6 December.

Included in the 16 days of action a training session is also being held on Monday 6 December for hairdressers, barbers and beauticians to teach them how to recognise the signs of domestic abuse as part of the Cut it Out campaign.

Oldham already has a team of specialist Independent Domestic Violence Advisors who offer emotional and practical support to victims and survivors. The team can be contacted on 0161 770 1572 Monday to Friday, during ordinary office hours. Find out more here.

If you are in immediate danger, please call 999 and ask for the police.

If you are not in immediate danger, you can call the freephone 24-hour national domestic abuse helpline, run by the charity Refuge, on 0808 2000247.

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