16 Days of Action Against Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence takes place this year from November 25 to 10 December.  

This national awareness campaign stems from the original movement, 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence.

On a local level, we have developed the theme to become more inclusive - as it is recognised that gender-based violence does not exclusively impact women.

This year, we and our partners are taking this opportunity to counteract some of the myths around the subject through a social media campaign, a schedule of community events and a series of radio features on Riviera FM.

This content will challenge the assumptions about how domestic and sexual violence may present itself in  LGBT+ communities, younger people, and older generations.

This international period of awareness raising is also an opportunity to highlight the important work and support of private, public, charitable, and voluntary sectors.

We work alongside partners including Devon and Cornwall Police, NHS Devon, the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Devon and Cornwall, the Probation Service, and the other South West Peninsula Local Authorities; as well as the local Community and Voluntary Sector Standing Tall Partnership, to support people who are vulnerable to all forms of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

We commission the Torbay Domestic Abuse Service to provide support and safe places to stay and Intercom Trust to provide the Safer Rainbow Project – delivering specialist domestic abuse support  to LGBT+ communities across Devon.

We also work with Devon Rape Crisis and the Sexual Assault Referral Service to ensure people experiencing sexual violence can receive support.

Cllr Jackie Stockman, Cabinet Member for Adult’s Services, Torbay Council said, “This is an important opportunity to raise awareness of an issue that can affect all people across our community.  

“As a Council we offer an inclusive service which is something we wanted to highlight during the 16 days of action. Although data clearly indicates that women are predominantly more vulnerable to cases of domestic abuse and sexual violence – we know that this issue is not exclusive to one gender.

“We are so proud to have such amazing community partnerships in place to help support vulnerable people. We want support to feel fully accessible for anyone in Torbay who may need it.”

Cllr Cordelia Law, Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Torbay Council said “It’s important that young people have a good understanding of what all healthy relationships look like on their journey to adulthood. This campaign shares an important message with young people in Torbay about maintaining loving and healthy relationships throughout their lives.”  

We are still encouraging residents to take part in the Draft Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy consultation before the closing date on Wednesday 30 November.

The last Domestic Violence and Sexual Violence Strategy was launched in 2018 and since then there have been a number of significant events and policy changes.

The draft strategy has been developed from listening to the experiences of victims and survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence who shared their stories with us.

For further information about local services supporting people experiencing domestic abuse and/or sexual violence, please visit the Are you OK website.

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