Bradford Council and its partners including the NHS and West Yorkshire Police will launch a new domestic and sexual violence strategy at Bradford City Hall on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women.
MP, Naz Shah and human rights, forced marriages and child sex exploitation advisor, Saima Afzal MBE will speak to local domestic and sexual violence prevention professionals at a special event in Bradford’s City Hall on 25 November.
Representatives from across Bradford district will sign a public pledge to eliminate domestic and sexual violence.
The launch of the new strategy marks the beginning of a five-year plan emphasising early intervention and work with perpetrators.
This will mean professionals will intervene early to prevent situations escalating and violence and abuse being repeated.
Children and parents attending family centres will be encouraged to seek help as soon as possible.
Pupils experiencing domestic violence will receive support at schools.
Perpetrators will be managed more intensively by the police through the Integrated Offender Management programme which better coordinates services such as probation, health and housing in order to further reduce reoffending.
The police will issue conditional cautions referring domestic violence offenders to programmes designed to help them change their behaviour.
Services assisting male victims, including those in same sex relationships, will continue.
For many years Bradford has been at the cutting edge of tackling domestic violence and currently has the highest level of domestic violence service provision in England.
There were 10,895 incidents of domestic violence reported to the police in Bradford district during 2014/15 and 295 recorded rape offences between April and September 2015.
The new district-wide strategy was developed by Bradford’s Domestic and Sexual Violence Strategic Board currently chaired by Police District Commander, Chief Superintendent, Simon Atkin.
The NHS will also launch their Domestic and Sexual Violence Strategy for Bradford’s Health Economy 2015 – 20 at the City Hall event.
In 2011 health organisations in the Bradford district joined together to develop a strategy for Tackling Violence against Women and Girls; which was the first such health strategy in England.
This strategy, a five year plan, has been revised and renamed Tackling Domestic and Sexual Violence – a strategic response to ending violence against women and girls and interpersonal violence against men.
The aim is for health partners across the district to promote a better response to domestic and sexual violence.
This planned approach will include all aspects of domestic and sexual violence including female genital mutilation, forced marriage and ‘honour’ based violence.
Cllr Arshad Hussain, Executive Member for Neighbourhoods and Community Safety, said: “In Bradford, domestic and sexual violence is taken extremely seriously and tackling it is an important priority for the council, the police and our partners.
“We have excellent services, however there is still far too much offending so the Council and our partners will continue to develop and improve our approach to this very serious issue.”