Health People

Raising awareness of sexual and domestic abuse and violence on International Women’s Day

By John Charlton

Local charity Reducing the Risk of Domestic Abuse and Oxfordshire Adult learning initiative will be raising awareness of sexual and domestic abuse and violence towards women at a free workshop in the Community Centre at Blackbird Leys from 1pm – 4pm on 8 March.

Oxfordshire MP Andrew Smith will be supporting the event called “Be Bold to Change” which is planned on International Women’s Day.

Andrew Smith, who lives in Blackbird Leys said: “The charity “Rape Crisis England and Wales 2015-16” reports that approximately 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in England Wales alone every year. One in five women aged 16-59 has experienced some form of sexual violence since the age of 16, and 50% of sexual abuse or violence happens within intimate relationships which make it incredibly difficult for those people to report. Tragically, children are also victims of sexual assault and rape. Conviction rates for rape are far lower than for other crimes. Anything we can do to raise awareness, support and prevent this abuse is hugely welcome. Reducing the Risk’s workshop is one important measure and I look forward to hearing about their future initiatives.”

Michelle Plaisted-Kerr, the charity’s Training Development Manager said: “Abuse can happen to anyone, regardless of ethnicity, age, religion or belief, gender or disability, but the majority of abuse victims are women. Our workshop will explore types of abuse and violence, consider ways to support a victim, respond to disclosure and provide information on local support. Messages relating to abuse for victims, family and friends will be stencilled in washable, chalk-based paint, on the pavements around the Blackbird Leys Community Centre for 8 March.”

To sign up for the free Sexual Abuse and Violence workshop, Blackbird Leys Community Centre, Jack Argent Room, Blackbird Leys Road, Blackbird Leys, Oxford OX4 6HW contact sue.funge@abingdon-witney.ac.uk Tel: 07788 745903

Oxfordshire Rape Crisis Centre (OSARCC) Helpline: 0800 783 6294 www.oxfordrapecrisis.net
Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Helpline: 0800 731 0055 (Mon-Fri 10am-6pm. Sat 10am-4pm)
Website: www.reducingtherisk.org.uk