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#ChangeTheStory launches to continue tackling violence and intimidation against women and girls

We are committed to tackling violence, abuse and intimidation against women and girls (VAIWG), and that’s why we’re relaunching our Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign today (11 December).

For many, the emotional and physical abuse suffered at the hands of perpetrators can have lasting effects.

Two new videos, which show how this suffering affects victims in their everyday life, forms part of our efforts to raise awareness of abusive behaviour and engage with perpetrators about how they can #ChangeTheStory.

We will pursue violent and abusive men and root out toxic misogyny in society. One of the videos, titled ‘Contrasting Christmas’, shows what could be facing many perpetrators this year if they don’t take steps to change their behaviour.

The initiative has been designed to raise awareness that there is help and support available to those that recognise that they are displaying unhealthy and abusive behaviour within their relationship and are willing to change. If you are worried about your behaviour towards women and girls and you want to change, there is help available.

New Era, the domestic abuse service operating across Staffordshire, offers support to those wanting to change. Call 01785 904770 to speak to someone now. Those that aren’t prepared to change will be pursued.

Although this campaign is aimed at offenders, we want to reiterate that protecting and supporting victims is a priority for us. Support services are available to victims and we will take reports seriously.

Back in September, we arrested 61 people during a week-long intensification period as part of our commitment to tackling VAIWG. Part of this enforcement saw specialist officers contact more than 45 victims of domestic abuse alongside partner agencies to offer advice and support. We want to continue protecting women and girls by giving them safe routes to report and get vital support.

Detective Superintendent Victoria Downing, who is co-ordinating our response to VAIWG, said: “By everyone coming together collectively to call out violence and abuse, we can continue to target those responsible and best protect those affected by it.

“We can’t tackle this alone and everybody has an important role to play. This is a cultural issue, deep-rooted and embedded in society which is going to need long-lasting attitudinal and behavioural change.

“Part of this campaign aims to encourage those who recognise their behaviour is wrong to seek support. We’ve demonstrated previously what can happen to perpetrators as part of our Don’t Choose to Abuse campaign, and we want to emphasise that it is your responsibility to change. Failing to do so will result in robust police action across Staffordshire.

“We are committed to working alongside our partners to deliver the toughest enforcement available to those found guilty of violence against women and girls. We’ve already undertaken a significant amount of work in this area and we’re committed to continuing to make progress and supporting those affected by violence, abuse and intimidation.”

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is a key priority for me as Commissioner, and this powerful campaign raises awareness of the consequences of abusive behaviour.

“Violence, abuse, and intimidation against women and girls in any form, and anywhere, is not acceptable and will not be tolerated. Support is available through New Era for perpetrators wanting to change their abusive behaviour, but for those who choose to continue their behaviours, Staffordshire Police will hold you to account.”

To watch these new videos and to find out more about our campaign, visit: Don’t choose to abuse | Staffordshire Police


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