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University Conference Launches Action Campaign to Combat Gender Based Violence

The University of Worcester has helped launch a county-wide campaign to end domestic abuse.

The University’s Centre for Violence Prevention held a conference to launch the 16 Days of Action Against Gender Based Violence in Worcestershire, detailing some of the key work it is doing in this field.

The 16 Days of Action is an annual international campaign that aims to raise awareness and call for changes at an international, national and local level to end violence against women and girls.

In Worcestershire, residents are being asked to pledge to "Say No" to domestic abuse and sexual violence through the White Ribbon Campaign.

At the event, Martin Lakeman, Worcestershire Strategic Coordinator for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, launched a new campaign highlighting the importance of recognising coercive control as a key facet of abuse.

The launch showcased the work being done by the University’s Centre for Violence Prevention both in research and training professionals in the UK and abroad in how to respond to domestic abuse.

This included support for vulnerable female prisoners in Bulgaria, research on domestic violence in the context of the family court, research on domestic violence perpetrators with learning disabilities and the nature of harassment and stalking.

Attendees heard about the Intervention Initiative, which is a public health campaign that aims to empower students to act as pro-active social citizens to prevent sexual coercion, sexual violence and domestic abuse. The University is delivering this to around 300 students this year.

The conference was also a chance for key regional players to feed back to the Centre what aspects it should focus on in the future.

Professor Liz Gilchrist, Head of the Centre for Violence Prevention, said: “Our launch event showcased some of the local, national and international research being conducted within the Centre.

“We also highlighted the training we have been delivering locally on gender based violence and with international partners in Malta.

“We had excellent attendance and the event has strengthened the link between the University and the local community and our joint commitment to working to reduce gender based violence.”

As the campaign draws to a close, to make a pledge visit www.whiteribbon.org.uk.