Rallying together to eliminate gender-based violence in Hackney - 16 Days of Activism

16 Days of Activism 2020

Residents, organisations, and institutions will be rallying together to show their support for the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence campaign, as figures have shown at times an increase of 60% in domestic abuse referrals to the Council during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The 16 Days of Activism campaign (25 November - 10 December) is aimed at encouraging communities to call for the elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). 

It forms part of the Council’s year round work to tackle domestic abuse in Hackney, which includes working closely with local partners to support and protect survivors of domestic abuse and to bring perpetrators to justice. 

As part of Hackney’s 16 Days of Activism campaign activities, the Council will be hosting a virtual event on 30 November which will be open to all professionals working in Hackney. This event will bring together key organisations to discuss how VAWG ties in with other forms of discrimination and oppression, such as discrimination on the basis of ethnicity, sexuality, gender-identity, disability, immigration status, as well as barriers faced by particlar groups in accessing help from government services. 

This event will see contributions from a range of organisations who provide community support, such as LGBTQ+ anti-violence charity GALOP, the Claudia Jones Organisation, who support women of African Carribean heritage, and SignHealth, who help deaf people affected by domestic abuse. 

Last year, Hackney Council became one of the first local authorities in England to adopt a new, evidence-based approach towards tackling domestic abuse, which focuses on keeping children ‘safe and together’ with the non-abusive parent. As part of the 16 Days of Activism campaign, Hackney and Waltham Forest councils will hold an online event on the Safe & Together model for their staff and volunteers on Wednesday 2 December. 

This year’s campaign activities will also see virtual workshops for young people on healthy relationships, and domestic abuse training for Hackney Council housing staff, other Hackney-based professionals and local community organisations and grassroots groups. *

The Council sets out its wider approach to tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) in its Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2019 - 2022. This three-year strategy shows how the Council is working with its partners to tackle VAWG through a public health approach, which focuses on early intervention and prevention. 

Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety
Domestic abuse is a crime, and we want everyone who is affected by it to know that help is available in Hackney. But it’s also important that people who work within communities can recognise the signs of domestic abuse and are able to address it safely, particularly during the coronavirus pandemic, which has isolated those who are affected by domestic abuse. That’s why we’re training our housing staff, community groups, grassroots organisations, mental health workers and other professionals who work with residents as part of this year’s campaign activities - alongside recognising and addressing the wider issues that prevent domestic abuse survivors from reaching out for help.
Cllr Susan Fajana-Thomas, Cabinet Member for Community Safety

Other organisations are also holding events in support of 16 Days of Activism: 

If you or someone you know is at risk of domestic abuse, you can access help, support and advice through the following channels:

  • If someone is in immediate danger, call the police on 999 right away. If it’s unsafe for you to speak, you can make a silent phone call to the police by dialling 999 and pressing 55 when prompted to do so. If you’re deaf, hard of hearing or have speech impairments, you can call the police in emergencies on 18000 or text 999 if you’ve pre-registered for the Emergency SMS service: bit.ly/emergency-sms
  • If you do not fear for their own or someone else’s immediate safety, you can report domestic abuse to the police by calling 101 or visiting bit.ly/report-domestic-abuse. If you’re are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, you can call the non-emergency textphone on 18001 101
  • Contact Hackney Council’s Domestic Abuse Intervention Service (DAIS) on 020 8356 4458 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm), dais@hackney.gov.uk or hackney.gov.uk/domestic-violence
  • If you’re concerned about the safety of children, you can call Hackney Council’s Children and Families’ Service on 020 8356 5500 from Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm, or 020 8356 2710 outside office hours
  • The National Domestic Abuse Helpline can be contacted 24-hours a day for free on 0808 2000 247 or by visiting nationaldahelpline.org.uk
  • The National Stalking helpline is 0808 802 0330

If you’re concerned about your behaviour towards your partner and want help to change, you can call the confidential Respect hotline on 0808 802 4040.

You can support the campaign by sharing our free downloadable resources on your social media and in your workplaces and communities.