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Get behind ‘16 Days of Activism’

Tomorrow (Friday 25 November), Waltham Forest will take part in a worldwide campaign aiming to bring about an end to violence against women and girls (VAWG).



Entitled 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence, a series of events have been organised locally to raise awareness of VAWG, support victims and encourage residents and businesses to publicly stand up against all forms of abuse. This includes domestic violence (DV), hate crime, sexual abuse, child sexual exploitation, female genital mutilation (FGM), forced marriage and honour-based violence.



Since 2014, the borough has held White Ribbon status – accreditation that formally recognises the work carried out by the Council and all of its local partners to raise awareness about gender-based violence and abuse, and encourage members of the community to take a stand against it.



The first public event in the Council’s 16 Days programme this year is an information session at Whipps Cross Hospital. Members of staff from Barts Health and Solace Women’s Aid will be providing information and advice on the variety of support services available in Waltham Forest.



Thursday 1 December sees the launch of the Multi-Faith FGM Charter for Waltham Forest and Tower Hamlets. The charter reinforces the work carried out by the Council to combat the illegal practice and support victims. The launch event takes place at the East London Mosque and London Muslim Centre (Whitechapel Road, E1 1JQ). To register to attend, email toks@forwwrduk.org.uk.



The Council’s FGM Community Mediator, Hibo Wardere – a prominent campaigner on the issue and an FGM survivor herself – has organised a Somali community safety event at Waltham Forest Town Hall’s Council Chamber on Saturday 3 December. Reserve your free place by emailing Hibo.Wardere@walthamforest.gov.uk.



There’s also a faith-based community event for Muslim women to be held at 757 Lea Bridge Road from Sunday 4 December. You can register to attend for free by emailing Saira Mir at saira_mir@hotmail.co.uk.



On Wednesday 7 December, Refuge will officially launch its support services for people fleeing domestic violence and abuse.



Also on that day, Kiran Support Services will be hosting an event at the House of Lords (Palace of Westminster, SW1A 2PW). Anyone who is interested in attending can email Saima@kiranss.org.uk to find out more.



Several other events are planned for practitioners and service users throughout 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.



The White Ribbon logo will be promoted by the London Fire Brigade at station houses across the borough.



Leyton Orient FC already showed its support for the campaign during a home game on 19 November, when first team players wore White Ribbon t-shirts prior to kick-off.



Cllr Liaquat Ali MBE JP, Cabinet Member for Community Safety and Cohesion, said: “We’re very clear that abuse in any form cannot and will not be condoned in Waltham Forest. We’re committed to working with the police, Leyton Orient FC, fire brigade and other local partners to take action against perpetrators and protect those at risk of harm.”



Jamie Jenkins, London Fire Brigade Borough Commander for Waltham Forest, said: “The London Fire Brigade in Waltham Forest is proud to support the White Ribbon Campaign to help stop VAWG. Throughout this campaign, firefighters at stations across the borough will wear a white ribbon to show their commitment to the campaign.”



Please note that times will be confirmed once you have registered to attend the events listed.



For more information on community safety, visit www.walthamforest.gov.uk/community-safety.

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For out of hours please email media@walthamforest.gov.uk or call 07966 915 157.