Taking a Stand to End Violence Against Women
A conference on tackling gender based violence has been hosted by Newry, Mourne and Down Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP), along with the South Eastern Domestic and Sexual Violence Partnership and County Down Rural Community Network.
Entitled ‘Men’s Leadership in Gender Based Violence - Let’s End the Silence’, the conference was held in the Burrendale Hotel, Newcastle on Wednesday 28 November. Attended by over 120 delegates from agencies throughout the district, it marked the annual 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence campaign, which challenges violence against women and girls.
The event was presided over by international expert Jackson Katz who co-founded Mentors in Violence Prevention and is recognised for his pioneering work and activism on issues of gender, race and violence. This is the first time that he has provided training in the UK. Those attending were told that with one in three women experiencing gender violence at some point in their lives, it was likely that someone they knew was a victim or a potential victim.
The conference enabled participants to discuss links between gender violence, knife crime, gang violence, behavioural issues and mental health problems that men and boys experience. The conference’s goal was to provide male leaders within local society with the tools to speak out, to show leadership and to stand up against gender violence through a change in attitudes in both workplaces and daily lives.
In closing the event, Councillor Robert Burgess, Chairperson of the PCSP, said, “The PCSP is delighted to support this conference and thank Jackson for making the journey from the US to be with us today. It has been a privilege to hear him speak so passionately about the issue of gender violence.”
Sheila Simons, Chairperson of the South Eastern Domestic & Sexual Violence Partnership, said, “It’s important that an expert of Jackson Katz’s standing visited County Down as gender violence remains a huge issue affecting people from all communities in Northern Ireland. In 2017/18, the PSNI responded to a domestic abuse incident every 18 minutes of every day. Gender violence costs too much to ignore - the direct cost to services and lost economic output in Northern Ireland is estimated to amount to more than £900 million.”
For further information on domestic or sexual abuse, or any other community safety issue, contact Newry, Mourne and Down PCSP on 028 3031 3078 or firstname.lastname@example.org.