The day after a General Election it’s hard to think of anything other than political outcomes and results. But regardless of how you voted yesterday, and of what the results will mean for services such as ours, Nottingham has a huge amount to be proud of, particularly within its voluntary sector.
We wanted to take this opportunity to celebrate our local services and reflect on the achievements of the city in tackling gender-based violence and abuse. Nottingham, we salute you!
Nottingham is a FGM Zero Tolerance City
Following a proposal by the Sheriff of Nottingham, Councillor Jackie Morris, Nottingham declared itself the first city in the UK to take a zero-tolerance stance on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in September 2016.
With an estimated 60,000 people in the UK at risk of being subjected to FGM, and approximately 200 new cases of FGM being reported yearly in Nottingham alone, this decision reflects an important step in the battle to outlaw FGM.
Read more about Nottingham’s stance on FGM here.
First Police Force to Recognise Misogyny as a Hate Crime
After the launch of the Nottingham Citizens ‘No Place for Hate’ report, a hate crime research project in 2014, Nottinghamshire Police and Nottingham Women’s Centre have been working together to tackle misogynistic abuse of women. This led to Nottinghamshire Police becoming the first force in the country to recognise misogyny as a hate crime in 2016.
This is a huge step forward in creating a safer environment for women in Nottingham, one where women can feel comfortable and free to walk the streets without fearing harassment and abuse directed at them simply because they are women. Both the Police and Nottingham Women’s Centre continue to highlight this step with awareness raising campaigns around the city.
Learn more about reporting misogyny as a hate crime here.
Nottingham Women’s Centre
Nottingham Women’s Centre can trace its beginnings to 1971, making it one of the oldest of its kind in the UK. It has evolved significantly over the years, but continues to ensure women have their voices heard.
Their partner organisations, Women’s Aid Integrated Services and Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services, are also based in the building, making them a one-stop shop for women who need support and advice.
Friendly, welcoming and with a wide range of services and events on offer, Nottingham Women’s Centre continues to enable women in Nottinghamshire to reach their full potential. They’re home to an exceptional Feminist Library too!
Visit the Nottingham Women’s Centre website here.
Reclaim the Night
The Reclaim The Night marches started in the UK on the 12th November 1977, when torch-lit marches were held across England in Leeds, York, Bristol, Manchester, Newcastle, Brighton and London. They were called by the Leeds Revolutionary Feminist Group, who were inspired by news of co-ordinated women-only ‘Take Back The Night’ marches against sexual harassment, held across towns and cities in West Germany on the 30th April 1977.
These marches continue to this day, with Nottingham holding an annual event every Autumn. The Reclaim The Night marches give women a voice and a chance to reclaim the streets at night during a safe and empowering event. The aim is to put the issue of women’s safety in the spotlight and raise awareness of street harassment.
In Nottingham, we know that women experience abuse, harassment and unwanted attention from men on a daily basis while out in public. 1 in 5 women will experience sexual violence. These threats make women feel unsafe and change the way we live our lives – such as avoiding public transport or not going out after dark.
Equation continue to support this march as a way to reclaim our right to be free from these daily abuses and publicly ask our community to join us in demanding a better society for our girls and women.
Read about last year’s Reclaim the Night march here.
Nottingham Community Voluntary Services
Nottingham Community Voluntary Services was established in 1875, and has a proud 140+ year history of helping the voluntary sector in Nottingham.
NCVS aims to improve the quality of people’s lives in Nottingham through strengthening the voluntary sector. By offering training, promotion, meeting spaces and funding opportunities, NCVS supports and develops voluntary action to benefit people in Nottingham.
You can access the NCVS website here.
Nottinghamshire Rape Crisis Centre Rebrands as Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services
Nottinghamshire Rape Crisis Centre was established over 35 years ago by a group of women concerned about the support available for women survivors of sexual violence, and about the myths and assumptions that were attached to rape. The centre ran for several years with no secure funding, but survived thanks to the hard work and determination of this group of women.
The centre has evolved significantly since then and now offers a wider range of services to both men and women. As a result of this development and expansion, the centre has recently rebranded to reflect the broad range of services available. It is now known as Nottinghamshire Sexual Violence Support Services, or Notts SVS Services for short.
Take a look at their new website here.
Leading Campaign to Support Anonymous Voter Registration
It is fitting that the day after a General Election we reflect on the part Nottingham has played in the campaign to ensure anonymous voter registration is available to all survivors of domestic violence and abuse.
Running parallel with a petition from Women’s Aid, Notts SVS Services led a campaign to highlight awareness of the issue, liaised with The Electoral Commission and ensured visibility for this vital motion. Read more about why anonymous voter registration is so important here.
WAIS delivers change to legal aid system
Women’s Aid Integrated Services were put forward to the Ministry of Justice by Women’s Aid England in August 2016, allowing officials to hear first hand from service users just how the widely criticised rules around legal aid affected and prevented women from seeking legal representation in disputed family court hearings.
The review of legal aid has led to the government announcing that it will now scrap rules requiring survivors to prove they’ve experienced abuse in the past five years in order to apply for legal aid.
The courage of these women now means that others who find themselves in a similar position can access safety and justice through the law. It wouldn’t have happened without them. Read more about their involvement here.
And finally, Equation itself: we have a long and proud history. In 1989 Nottinghamshire Domestic Violence Forum (NDVF) was founded to bring together all the experts working against domestic violence in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
In addition to partnership working, the organisation developed vital services to meet local needs. In 1996 the organisation was the first in the area to establish a central domestic abuse training and awareness programme for local community professionals.
In 2000, we supported the launch of the first 24-hour domestic violence helpline in the country by developing safety information cards that promoted the new local service. In 2002, we delivered our first schools healthy relationships project. Our work has continually expanded to meet demand.
In 2012 we rebranded as Equation. We maintain our founding ethos of partnership working and our aspirational vision of universal healthy, equal relationships. Equation remains the central local organisation for domestic abuse training and best practice guidance for frontline community professionals, promotion of local domestic violence services and prevention work in schools.
Read more about the impact of our work here.