South Yorkshire Police has won a regional award in the first National Police Chiefs’ Council and College of Policing’s recognition event for police officers, staff and volunteers who are working to tackle violence against women and girls.
The force’s ‘No More’ campaign, which used real life stories of South Yorkshire women to tell people what behaviours women are done with experiencing and why, won a regional award in the ‘We Have Heard, We Have Changed’ category.
The 'No More' campaign is centred around the microaggressions and acts of violence that women face every day. Powerful statements laid bare the unacceptable situations too many women and girls experience on a night out:
"I said we could dance, not dry hump."
"No more pressing against me at the bar."
"I didn’t ask how my boobs look."
"No more d**k pics."
On Wednesday 6 September, the campaign was recognised at an event in London, alongside other initiatives, and forces from across the country.
The recognition event was developed and judged jointly by police forces and representatives from charities including SafeLives, Suzy Lamplugh Trust and Karma Nirvana, alongside the Domestic Abuse Commissioner for England and Wales, Nicole Jacobs, and police staff associations. Over 140 entries were received which were initially judged regionally by police and third sector panels, before being put in front of a national panel who decided the 13 overall winners.
All winning entries had to demonstrate how they built trust and confidence, that their approach was victim-centred, and they had to show impact, including how they were pursuing perpetrators. Judges were impressed with the effectiveness of many of the entries, giving particular praise to those officers, staff and volunteers who listened to victims and survivors, and then shaped their activity accordingly.
South Yorkshire Police’s award win comes just one week after the force launched the second phase of their campaign – ‘Do More’. ‘Do More’ has once again been developed with input from the force’s Independent Advisory Group for violence against women and girls, made up of those who have lived experience of violence against women and girls, or work in organisations that support women and girls who have experiences this type of violence.
Women of South Yorkshire have told the public what behaviours they are done with and why, and now the public are being encouraged to help where they can, by calling out violence, harassment, intimidation, humiliation or misogyny for what it is. Bystanders are being urged to become upstanders and:
“Call out your mate.”
“Ask if she’s alright.”
“Give her space.”
“Tell the staff.”
Natalie Shaw, SYP’s force lead for violence against women and girls, collected the award for the force. She commented: “I am delighted to pick up this award on behalf of South Yorkshire Police. Although it is a great honour to be recognised for this campaign, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge that this wouldn’t have been possible without the help of so many other individuals and agencies.
“No More is brave and bold, just like the many victims of sexual harassment, and the women who gave up their time to be the face of this campaign. Our aim was to raise awareness of the types of behaviour women are done with experiencing – now we’ve told this story, we’re moving on to what people can do to help if they witness this. We as a police force absolutely will help any individual who reports to us, but we need everyone to be doing their bit too. Calling out their mate if they see unacceptable behaviour, asking a woman if she’s alright if they are being hassled, or telling a member of staff – these little acts can make a huge difference.
“SYP is truly committed to tackling violence against women and girls and I would encourage anyone who is a victim to come forward and seek support. We will listen to you, and we will do everything we can to help.”
DCC Maggie Blyth, National Police Chiefs’ Council violence against women and girls’ coordinator, said: “Thank you to everyone who works in policing and whose focus is on making society safer for women and girls.
“Having regional and national judging panels made up of experts from inside and outside policing have really helped us to focus on winners who have demonstrated both an understanding of what victims want and expect, but also on activity that is sustainable. It’s only by modelling this excellent work that we can hope to achieve consistency for women and girls across our police forces. Entries also showed how we are pursuing perpetrators and showing them that there is nowhere to hide. We all want policing to achieve more and although we still have much to do, I am heartened by the quality of work that is underway.”
Minister for Safeguarding at the Home Office, Sarah Dines said: “I am committed to tackling violence against women and girls and it was a privilege to attend today’s event and hear first-hand the work the police do daily to truly changes people’s lives.
“All of the winners today are truly inspiring and I was heartened to hear their passion and dedication to challenge harmful behaviours, identify and support victims, and pursue perpetrators of the most heinous crimes.
“Across society, we must have a zero-tolerance approach to violence against women and girls. I'm proud to be working with the police to crack down on these crimes and support victims."
The recognition event was kindly sponsored by Salesforce and Kulpa who have provided the venue free of charge, event support and a contribution towards the printed materials.
To find out more about South Yorkshire Police’s No More and Do More campaigns, visit www.nomore-standwithus.com
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