Harborough council and Leicestershire Police back day to stamp out male violence against women

In many cases, people are frightened to report such incidents - the council and the police hope to change that

By Red Williams
Friday, 26th November 2021, 10:54 am
The council’s Symington Building lit up in orange.
The council’s Symington Building lit up in orange.

Harborough District Council and Leicestershire Police threw their weight behind White Ribbon Day and International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women yesterday (Thursday).

White Ribbon Day calls on all men to fulfil the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.

It urges men and boys especially to take action and change behaviour.

International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women aims to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world.

Lights on the district council’s Symington Building on Adam and Eve Street in Market Harborough turned orange to back the critical global campaign.

“The council has also been liaising with hair and beautician businesses across the Harborough district as employees of these businesses can be crucial in recognising and reporting issues,” said Harborough council.

“We have also provided stickers at these premises showing how people can get support and provided white ribbons which people can wear to show support.”

Cllr Simon Whelband, the council’s Cabinet lead on community safety, said: “This is a hugely important issue and horrifying incidents in the national news have shown why it is important to do all we can to raise awareness of these campaigns.

“I know this has cross-party support and I am grateful to local businesses for working with us to raise any concerns and highlight support channels available.”

You can find support and advice here:

www.leicestershire.gov.uk/we-can-help-with/domestic-abuseMeanwhile, Det Ch Insp Lucy Batchelor, of Leicestershire Police, said: “Ultimately, we need everyone to speak out, we need everyone to feel that they can come forward.”

Urging people in Harborough and across the county to highlight and spotlight male violence against women, the top detective said: “We don’t want anyone to be a bystander.

“We need as many people across our force area to speak out – men, women, victims and witnesses.

“It’s very much a collective effort to stand up, acknowledge that male violence against women is just wrong and make a conscious effort to put a stop to it.”

The force has a team of dedicated specialist officers who will investigate reports of domestic abuse as they make sure that victims are safeguarded.

Det Insp Mike Chandler, who heads up the force’s Domestic Abuse Investigation Unit (DAIU), said: “Fundamentally, we’re here both to protect and bring those offenders to justice.

“In order to do that, we need people to report things to us.

“In many cases, victims are too scared to do that and so we need everyone to be prepared to talk about the issue and be able to tell if someone they know is being subjected to violence.

“For example, if you notice a change in someone’s behaviour then I would urge you to make your concerns known.

“They may become more withdrawn or reclusive or not want to talk or share information about certain things.”

Det Insp Chandler warned that violence can take many forms.

“A lot of the time it can be psychological.

“A man can act in a violent manner – such as shouting and lashing out indirectly – without physically hitting a woman.

“He can cause emotional harm to a woman which in turn makes her feel scared – his actions can definitely have a controlling effect,” insisted Det Insp Chandler.

“This is the sort of behaviour we need people to recognise and report.

“Victims may be suffering without many people knowing because they don’t look like they’ve come to any physical harm.”

Police are working closely arm in arm with local authorities, health, housing, mental health and substance misuse organisations.

Officers are also linking up with Independent Domestic Violence Advisors (IDVAs) as they take part in Multi Agency Risk Assessment Conferences (MARAC).

“The primary focus is to ensure victims are safeguarded.

“The MARAC allows all agencies to share information which will allow us to identify any risks and increase the safety and wellbeing of those most likely to come to harm,” said Det Insp Chandler.

“We also work with UAVA – a local charity which provides victims of domestic abuse or sexual violence as well.

“We all have the same aim – to put a stop to male violence against women.”

You can get more information about domestic abuse, including how to make a report, can be found by visiting:

https://www.leics.police.uk/advice/advice-and-information/daa/domestic-abuse/ (A link is also included on how to delete your visit from your browsing history)

Further information about the services provided by United Against Violence & Abuse (UAVA) can be found by visiting:

https://www.uava.org.uk/You can find out more about White Ribbon Day by visiting: