Major summit held to drive work to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls

More than 80 specialists from across Merseyside united for a summit hosted by the region’s Police Commissioner today to drive forward the work to tackle Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).

The VAWG Summit 2022, convened by the PCC Emily Spurrell, brought together specialists from key partners, including frontline community groups and voluntary organisations, to discuss the creation of a delivery plan for making our region safer for women and girls.

The event, which was held at the Liverpool Quaker Meeting House on School Lane and was facilitated by LJMU’s Professor Zara Quigg, focussed on highlighting best practice which can be rolled out across the region and identifying where there are areas for improvement to deliver the best support for victims and survivors.

The event included a series of workshops examining key issues to drive change and push improvements. This included how all organisations can intervene earlier to increase education and awareness, tackle misogyny and prevent crimes from taking place in the first place. Sessions also reviewed Merseyside Police’s framework for tackling VAWG and how partners can support it and examine how organisations can work closer together to bring more perpetrators to justice.

The feedback from today will be used to create a delivery plan which will shape how all organisations across Merseyside work to tackle VAWG.

At the heart of this document will be the voices who have suffered violence and have first-hand lived experience of trying to seek justice.

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said, “There is an epidemic of violence facing women in our society and radical change is urgently needed if we are to protect them and make their lives safer.

“I was delighted that so many knowledgeable, passionate professionals were able to join me for this crucial summit to drive forward the work to improve our response to VAWG here in Merseyside.

“Tackling VAWG is my top priority, and I was keen to draw on their expertise as I look to create this important document which will shape how organisations across our region responds to these horrific crimes and work to prevent them from taking place in the first place.

“There’s a huge amount of good work already being done locally. My goal is to identify and pull together all the best practice and expand it so it’s delivered consistently across the whole of Merseyside; and to recognise where there are currently gaps or weaknesses that we must act on.

“Today’s event was very much the start of the process. Next month, I will be holding a victim-survivor forum to ensure their voices are at the heart of this work.

“The issue of VAWG is deep-rooted and the scale is staggering. There is a long way to go if we are to eradicate it for good, but by working together we can be a force for change, making our region safer for all women and girls.”

Professor Zara Quigg, from LJMU’s Public Health Institute said, “Violence against women and girls can have immense and long-term impacts on victims and survivors, and the wider community.

“To prevent it, we need dedicated public funding and investment in multi-sectoral action involving the government, police, criminal justice system; health, educational, and voluntary and community services; and, critically communities, including victims and survivors.

“Liverpool John Moores University are invested in working to support our partners to prevent and response to violence against women and girls. This summit has showcased the breadth of expertise and action that is being implemented to prevent violence across Merseyside, and the strong commitment to building on this, and working in partnership to make all women and girls lives safer.” 

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