Today is International Women's Day and to mark it Oxford City Council wants to highlight the work it does to combat violence against women.
The City Council is committed to empowering women and enabling them to make choices. The Council’s Community Safety Service employs a dedicated Sanctuary Scheme Coordinator, Jan Robinson. She works closely with Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service and Reducing the Risk, who are dedicated to ensuring the safety and wellbeing of anyone at risk through domestic abuse. Jan deals with referrals from agencies or from victims of domestic or sexual violence as well as other serious crime. She will advise on "target hardening" properties to make them safe for victims and their families to stay there; free from abuse and violence. Jan works closely with the police and is a qualified Crime Reduction Advisor.
Jan is a Domestic Abuse Champion. The Champions form a network of workers from many organisations to provide a more joined-up approach, work effectively with victims, and to ensure their safety. With a long involvement in combating domestic abuse, both in her previous role as a police officer, and now as part of the City Council. Jan’s achievements were recently recognised when she received a Champion of Champions award from Reducing the Risk, presented by the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner, Anthony Stansfeld at an event at Dorchester Abbey.
Councillor Tom Hayes, Board Member for Community Safety, said: "This year's International Women’s Day cannot be overstated. It’s the centenary year of voting rights for women in Britain and a seismic shift is taking place in Oxford and all over the world. Women are speaking up and stepping forward in their millions, calling out the injustices and abuses they face every day because of their gender.
"The reality for many women today is just another day in fear. One hundred years on from suffrage, women in our city still live in fear of their partner every single day. The painful aftermath of domestic violence and abuse reaches across Oxford – in housing associations, hospitals, mental health charities, businesses, churches and beyond.
"This Council leaves no stone unturned in its campaign to end gender-based abuse of all kinds, and our Sanctuary Scheme Coordinator plays a crucial role in that effort. If you or someone you know is affected by domestic abuse, please have confidence that someone is waiting to help."
If you or someone you know are affected by domestic abuse or sexual violence, contact Oxfordshire Domestic Abuse Service on 0800 731 0055 or Oxfordshire Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Centre on 0800 783 6294 for support. For more information on domestic abuse and sexual violence visit the Reducing the Risk website or Oxford Rape Crisis website.