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Sandwell Council signs pledge to stamp out domestic abuse

Published 25th November 2022

Alice Davey, Cllr Danny Millard and Cllr Kerrie Carmichael

Sandwell Council has signed a new Domestic Abuse Pledge to work with partner organisations to ensure that all forms of abuse will not be tolerated in Sandwell.

The new pledge builds on existing partnership working in Sandwell. Read the Domestic Abuse Pledge in full.

Council Leader, Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Cabinet Member for Communities, Councillor Danny Millard, and Director of Borough Economy, Alice Davey, signed the pledge as part of Sandwell's Safer 6 community safety campaign and to help mark White Ribbon Day and the start of the 16 Days of Action (against gender-based violence).

White Ribbon Day (25 November) is a global campaign led by men to end male violence against women and girls.

Nationally and locally within Sandwell, domestic abuse is a serious issue and has a devastating impact on the victim, their families and the wider community, regardless of race, geography or social background.  

The pledge commits the council to promote a culture of respect and equality for everyone in their relationships and also in their interactions with agencies so that anyone who becomes a victim of domestic abuse or sexual assault and abuse is able to engage with services.

Strategic partners are supporting the pledge through the Domestic Abuse Strategic Partnership, Safer Sandwell Partnership, Sandwell Safeguarding Adults Board, Sandwell Children's Safeguarding Partnership and Sandwell Health & Wellbeing Board.

Partners will work together with victims and survivors to ensure their voices are heard and support their families to achieve a co-ordinated community response where victims feel protected and safe to recover from the trauma of their abuse.

Partners have also committed to ensure that domestic abuse perpetrators who have been sentenced at court complete interventions to address their offending and that controls are in place to protect victims. In addition, communities will be actively engaged and enabled to build on their strengths to better understand abuse and support the creation of preventative solutions to reduce the risk of abuse.

Councillor Kerrie Carmichael, Leader of Sandwell Council, said: "We have signed the pledge to express our zero-tolerance approach to all forms of abuse and commitment to working together with our partners to stamp out violent and controlling behaviours in Sandwell. We are also developing a strong prevention offer through effective early intervention, building on what is strong in Sandwell.

“Today is also White Ribbon Day and the start of the 16 Days of Action campaign, which have fallen on the same week as the start of the football World Cup. This is a great opportunity to raise awareness about the challenges and dangers that women and girls face in traditionally male-dominated spaces like the football pitch, or public transport as fans travel to and from watching matches. We want as many men as possible to make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”

Councillor Danny Millard, Sandwell Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said: “With this pledge, we are sending out a strong message that domestic abuse is never acceptable in any circumstances. To anyone experiencing domestic abuse or is at risk, we want you to know that help is here. 

“There are already many good examples of partnership work happening here in Sandwell to tackle domestic abuse and support victims and their families, and it is important for us to build on that with the new domestic abuse strategy we agreed earlier this year and the pledge we have signed this week.

“We launched our Safer 6 campaign on 31 October and this will run until 11 December 2022 across Sandwell’s six towns, raising awareness, boosting engagement with our communities, tackling concerns and showcasing services and support that are accessible all year round to help people stay safe.”

Anyone who is suffering this abuse should report it to the police on 101 or, in an emergency, always call 999.

People can seek specialist support from Black Country Women’s Aid on 0121 552 6448, which is available 24 hours a day or text/WhatsApp on 07384 466 181 (9am-9pm Monday-Friday). You can speak to an advisor on webchat.  Black Country Women’s Aid supports female and male victims of domestic abuse.

Alternatively, there is a service for men and boys who have experienced domestic abuse, rape and sexual abuse. Contact Ask Marc by phone (0121 289 6402), email (info@askmarc.co.uk) or visit the website for more information.

Birmingham LGBT Centre can also provide a range of support services for LGBT victims.

You can also contact Sandwell Council’s Housing Solutions Team on 0121 368 1166, Option 2 for Housing Solutions or email: housing_choice@sandwell.gov.uk

For more information visit our domestic abuse webpage.