The NHS Black Country Integrated Care Board (ICB) is helping to raise awareness of gender-based violence as part of this year’s White Ribbon Day campaign.

White Ribbon Day, which took place on Saturday 25 November, is a global campaign that encourages people, especially men and boys, to act and change the behaviour and culture that leads to abuse and violence.

It is followed by 16 days of action, to help highlight violence against women and provide an important opportunity to call for changes to make women and children safe from abuse.

To support the campaign, the NHS Black Country ICBs safeguarding team held a special drop-in session on Thursday 30 November at the Wolverhampton Civic Centre, in partnership with Black Country Women’s Aid. Black Country Women’s Aid is a charity that has been supporting survivors of abuse and exploitation in the West Midlands for over 30 years.

The session gave colleagues the opportunity to ask questions about White Ribbon Day and the work going on across the Black Country, as well as exploring how they can provide support to colleagues, family and friends.

Rachana Chauhan, Regional Domestic Abuse Manager for Health and Hard to Reach Communities at Black Country Women’s Aid hosted the drop-in session alongside her colleague, Charmaine Cole, IRIS advocate educator. Rachana said: “Anyone can experience domestic abuse - it happens in all kinds of relationships and for any reason, regardless of age, race, religion, sex, or lifestyle.

“However, the aim of White Ribbon Day and the 16 days of action is to engage men and boys to end violence against women and girls. It’s crucial for men to speak out against violence and abuse and challenge the attitudes and behaviour of the minority of men who use or condone violence against women.

“Every person within our society has a role to play on the issue of violence towards women by men – we must not and cannot tolerate it.”

Colleagues were also given the opportunity to learn more about the ICBs Domestic Abuse Workplace policy at the drop-in session, which was launched last year.

The policy has been written to improve safety and health by recognising domestic abuse is a serious crime which has an adverse impact upon the health of individuals, families and communities and inform staff of best practice when responding to domestic abuse. It also acknowledges that domestic abuse is not only an issue for service uses of the NHS, and there is a need to address domestic abuse issues for staff who may be current or historic victims of abuse.

Marie Kelly, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Adults Nurse for Sandwell, said: “It was great to host a drop-in session in support of White Ribbon Day alongside our partners at Black Country Women’s Aid. The aim was to get people talking about the issue’s women and girls face, and the role we can all play in ending violence against women and girls.

“Domestic violence is an issue that disproportionately affects women and girls, but we know that anyone can be affected. If you, or someone you know, is experiencing domestic abuse or violence, please reach out and seek help. Everyone has the right to live life free from abuse and violence in any form.”

For more information on domestic abuse support and resources available in the Black Country, visit the Black Country Women’s Aid website here.

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L-R: Perri Minton, Assistant Designated Nurse for Adult Safeguarding for Sandwell, Marie Kelly, Designated Nurse for Safeguarding Adults Nurse for Sandwell, Rachana Chauhan, Regional Domestic Abuse Manager for Health and Hard to Reach Communities at Black Country Women’s Aid and Charmaine Cole, IRIS Advocate Educator.


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