During her election campaign and since taking office, Merseyside's Police Commissioner, Emily Spurrell, has vowed to work with partners to tackle the epidemic of Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Launched in November 2022, the 'Working in partnership to tackle Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) Delivery Plan' sets out a clear ambition to protect women and girls who live, work and visit Merseyside, prevent violence, pursue offenders and ensure tackling VAWG is prioritised and treated with urgency.
The strategy, which has been agreed by all political leaders and has been contributed to by nearly 50 partners across the region, sets out a series of straight-forward and achievable actions which all agencies can deliver to help eradicate VAWG.
The VAWG Delivery Plan is the result of extensive consultation with professional partners, including frontline community groups and voluntary organisations, and brave women and girls from all across all five boroughs of Merseyside who came forward to share their lived experiences.
Each of the 57 actions it contains, will be driven forward by a dedicated group who will be responsible for ensuring progress and achieving key milestones, overseen and reviewed by the Police’s Commissioner oversight board, the Merseyside Strategic Policing and Partnerships Board (MSPPB).
While the VAWG Delivery Plan is focused on long-term change, the Police Commissioner is also taking immediate steps to improve safety and provide additional support for women and girls. This includes:
- Working in partnership with NHS England and the region’s five local authorities to pledge £3.2m for a dedicated aftercare support service for all victims of rape and sexual violence over the next five years delivered by RASA Merseyside and RASASC Cheshire and Merseyside. A further £2.5m has been committed to support young victims of exploitation.
- Securing £876,000 to expand the Safer Streets Liverpool campaign focused on making our region safer for women and girls. This includes extra uniformed patrols at transport hubs and on key routes at peak times, increased CCTV, providing bystander training to staff, an educational campaign aimed at tackling misogyny and a powerful marketing campaign focused on making it very clear that sexual violence is unacceptable.
- Offering free training to employers through her Domestic Abuse Workplace Scheme to ensure workplaces are safe places and by equipping staff to become Workplace Champions to help colleagues who may be at risk.
- Launching the new Victim Care Merseyside hub – a dedicated team of real on hand to make a real difference to victims of crime on Merseyside. Delivered by a local team of specially trained advisors, the hub provides free, confidential, non-judgemental advice and support to anyone affected by crime living in Merseyside.