White Ribbon Day
White Ribbon Day UK was founded in 2005 and forms part of a wider international movement working to end male violence against women. Specifically, White Ribbon works with men and boys to challenge the cultures that lead men to commit acts of violence and abuse.
White Ribbon Day UK is marked every year in early November; Radian has taken part since 2013. This year, we are working with our trades team to raise awareness about domestic abuse and to hopefully increase reporting. We are holding events at our trades’ locations in Thames, Solent and Rother as well as at our office in Avon.
At each event we will be on-site, offering food and the opportunity to have a conversation with our community safety officers. Proceeds from sales of white ribbons will be donated to a refuge in the Rother area. We will also be collecting toiletries to help those who need to use the refuge at short notice.
Radian’s work to challenge and end abuse
Our colleagues in community safety carry out campaigns throughout the year to raise awareness of what is often a hidden crime. Our ultimate goal is always to increase reporting of domestic abuse and make sure people have confidence in our services. Whether this is by helping people to recognise abuse or simply by being that initial person to talk to. We also encourage perpetrators to seek help and self-refer to us so that we can signpost to appropriate support agencies.
Trades colleagues can report an incident or concerns through See Something Say Something via their PDA. We can then make a decision on how best to proceed with the referral. This may include contacting the victim, if it is safe to do so. Or, it might mean referring to our partner organisations which may include the police, social services or other support agencies. The most serious incidents are always reported to the police.
We also attend various training sessions to ensure that our knowledge is relevant and up to date. We have even provided in-house training to a number of colleagues in different departments. This has provided the opportunity to have some great conversations and improved knowledge and further awareness.
It is also really important that we continue to attend partnership meetings to help raise our profile and to encourage reporting by other agencies as well.
The results of our work
We are heartened by the fact that we have seen a rise in the number of incidents being reported and therefore giving us the opportunity to help more victims and their families. This is itself testament to the work that we are doing. Changes in attitudes are helping more people to recognise the signs of abuse. It is also giving people the confidence to report it knowing that they will be believed and not dismissed.
Our work in this area has been recognised. We are proud to have recently been re-awarded our Domestic Abuse Accreditation by the Domestic Abuse Housing Alliance. This involved an assessor visiting Radian and assessing the policies and procedures that we have in place, carrying out case audits and speaking to our officers. The assessor was satisfied with our work and we are now accredited again for the next three years.
Work to be done
There is still a lot of work to be done. We are currently looking to further develop our staff training package. This will ensure colleagues are more easily able to identify customers affected by domestic abuse and to quickly refer all cases to our community safety officers.
Statistics tell us that one in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. Two women a week are murdered by their current or former partner. One in six men will also experience domestic abuse in their lifetime. It is for these reasons that we will continue be proactive with our commitment to tackle domestic abuse in our communities.
For more information on the support available go to our Domestic Abuse advice page.
– Karolyn Barta, Housing Manager