Canterbury businesses offered free training to tackle violence against women and girls

As part of the Safer Streets campaign, Canterbury businesses are being offered free training to help them respond to incidents of violence against women and girls (VAWG).

VAWG is an umbrella term encompassing acts of violence or abuse that disproportionately affect women and girls. Many groups can however be affected by these crimes, including men and boys, those who identify as LGBTQ+, Black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME), people with disabilities and others with additional needs.

The training is being delivered by the Rising Sun Domestic Violence and Abuse Service and the East Kent Rape Crisis Centre, and will help employers and staff:

  • Identify inappropriate behaviour, sexual harassment and VAWG
  • How and where to report
  • How and when to safely intervene
  • Support those who disclose sexual violence or domestic abuse

The virtual, in-person or drop-in sessions will increase awareness of specialist support locally and improve safety for women and girls in Canterbury, both in the daytime and night-time economy.

Emma Threadingham, adult services manager of Rising Sun, said: “One in four women will experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and our vision is of a world in which women and children live free from actual or threatened domestic abuse and all forms of violence.

“The training sessions will help businesses and their employees to understand what domestic abuse is and be able to recognise the signs.

“They’ll learn how to speak sensitively with colleagues or customers who disclose experiences to them and gain the confidence to signpost them to specialist services within Canterbury who can offer invaluable support.”

Chloe Charters, training, prevention and outreach lead of East Kent Rape Crisis Centre, added: “Our goal is to create a community where women and girls are free from all forms of sexual violence.

“The free training aims to empower Canterbury businesses and their employees to respond to incidents of violence against women and girls, be confident to challenge these behaviours when safe to do so and support survivors.”

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