Ensuring equality and working with communities
Tackling violence against women and girls and putting gender equality at the heart of our communities
Lambeth Council, Waltham Forest Council, Barking and Dagenham Council
Lambeth Council was one of the first councils in the UK to develop an integrated Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) strategy; bringing together all strands of violence that either only, or disproportionately, affect women under the same umbrella. Under Labour, tackling VAWG is a political priority and the 2018 manifesto pledged to retain their 52 refuge beds. The majority of Lambeth’s work now takes place at a local community centre which last year supported more than 1,700 women. The centre, which is run on their behalf by domestic violence support charity Refuge, is viewed as model for the rest of the UK.
Alongside neighbouring London boroughs, Waltham Forest Council has opened up the first walk-in clinic in England that offers victims of FGM cervical cancer screening tests and specialist support. The council is a key player in the ‘Ask Me’ campaign which aims to raise awareness of domestic abuse and trains Community Ambassadors to recognise the signs, support victims and educate the community to prevent all forms of abuse by tackling the values, attitudes and behaviours that underpin violence towards women and girls. The borough also trains Youth Health Champions, who share information and run campaigns within their schools, such as the award winning ’Stop the Silence’ campaign around Violence Against Women and Girls.
Barking & Dagenham Council is the first council in the country to adopt a Gender Equality Charter. The Charter is a commitment on behalf of the council and its partners to create a fair and just society where people are treated equally, discrimination is tackled and the barriers to achieving equality are removed. The Charter has been signed by 162 local community organisations, businesses, schools and council partners who have all pledged to work towards ending gender inequality.