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Family of West Bridgford domestic abuse victim praise new plan to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls

The family of a West Bridgford woman who lost her life at the hands of her abusive partner has welcomed the introduction of a new five-year plan to tackle Violence against Women and Girls in Nottinghamshire.

Tara Newbold’s closest family and friends turned the devastation of losing her into a positive way of helping others in the same situation by setting up Tara’s Angels, an organisation which helps women fleeing violent relationships, in the wake of her death.

Charity volunteer Tara, 29, was found dead at her home in Alford Court in West Bridgford on 25 October 2016.

Since Tara’s death, the organisation has been providing essentials for women and children living in refuges, while also helping to make homes more secure by purchasing safety equipment.

Partner agencies have now come together to launch the Nottinghamshire Violence Against Women and Girls strategy which has been co-created and co-owned by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire, working alongside local authorities who have a statutory duty to tackle the issue, as well as domestic and sexual violence support practitioners across the city and county.

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They have worked as one to create this strategy for Nottinghamshire and are committed to its delivery across all of the responsible areas with the aim of making Nottingham and Nottinghamshire safer for women, girls and everyone that may be impacted by this type of crime.

The strategy was launched at the She Is Summit at the Albert Hall in Nottingham on Friday, March 8 which brought together women and girls as well as leaders, practitioners, and influencers and is focused on helping them to provide a voice for those who may be at risk of not achieving their full potential.

The She Is Summit, which also marked International Women’s Day, was the first of its kind to take place outside of London and was hosted by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire with support from Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH).

MTVH have previously hosted three She Is Summits in north London since its launch in 2022 in conjunction with the Young Brent Foundation and they have been an important opportunity to listen, better understand and generate ideas to tackle multiple forms of discrimination. MTVH is a major provider of housing in Nottinghamshire with over 7,000 homes across the county.

Speaking at the launch of the strategy on International Women’s Day, Bev Turner, Tara’s Auntie and one of Tara’s Angels said: “The launch of the strategy is wonderful to be a part of and to know that there is a long-term plan in place to support women and girls is amazing.

“These organisations have come together jointly to make a difference which is a great start for what we’re wanting to achieve.

“Tara’s mum set up Tara’s Angels a couple of years after she lost her life to domestic abuse, and we now support families in refuge and help to provide security and safety equipment like ring doorbells, outdoor lighting and safety catches so women do feel safer.

“It’s so valuable to be able to make a difference in Tara’s memory. We lost Tara and we don’t want anyone else to experience what we did.”

The strategy proposes to create safe spaces for women and girls to increase feelings of safety, especially in areas where women and girls are more at risk. Targeted prevention activity will also take place, including one-to-one and group support for children affected by violence against women and girls.

The foundations of the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy were created within an extensive theory of change model, which was developed alongside various sector leads, including those who respond to and provide support to people affected by violence against women and girls.

This has been further enhanced by research, data scrutiny and independent consultation with survivors and the wider public, carried out via multiple methods, including surveys, questionnaires and focus groups. This multi-step approach has been key to ensuring that the content of the strategy is robust, meaningful and informed.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry said: “The Violence against Women and Girls strategy is necessary not because women are the only people affected by violence, but because they are massively overrepresented as victims of serious violence including rape, sexual abuse and domestic violence.

“These are the people most afraid when they go out at night, and those who have grown up in a world where casual sexism, groping, cat-calling and victimisation have not been challenged enough.

“This strategy marks a key moment for Nottinghamshire where all agencies have come together to make a stand for all of the mothers, sisters and daughters who have been affected, either directly or indirectly and ensure girls can grow up in a society where women and girls are treated with more respect, compassion and support.”

Geeta Nanda, Chief Executive at Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing (MTVH) said:

“It is vital that we continue to listen to the concerns of young women and girls to understand their experiences and how we can best work to eliminate gender-based violence to improve their safety and protection. At MTVH we are proud sponsors of the She Is Summit, and we were delighted to work with the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to bring this to Nottingham for the first time and to support the launch of their VAWG strategy.

“Our strength is in our numbers. When we come together we are more powerful and more influential. The She Is Summit has generated a wide range of ideas and practical initiatives in a space where young women can discuss and share experiences and seek solutions.”

 

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