A South Yorkshire Statement of Intent to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls has today been launched in Sheffield.

The Statement, led by the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, asks South Yorkshire organisations to sign up to a shared set of principles and values to tackle Violence Against Women and Girls.

The Statement has been signed by 26 organisations.

At the launch, at the Niagara Centre in Sheffield, speakers included the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings; the Head of the Violence Reduction Unit, Graham Jones; and the South Yorkshire Police lead for tackling Violence Against Women and Girls, Natalie Shaw.

Also speaking at the event were representatives from each local authority in South Yorkshire, who outlined the importance of tackling this issue and why their area has signed up to the Statement.

Following the launch, the Statement will be promoted across South Yorkshire, and will be used as a framework to develop a collective approach to tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in the county.

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner said: “As Police and Crime Commissioner, I want South Yorkshire to be a place in which women and girls are both safe and feel safe in our communities. Unfortunately, that is too often not the case.

“Violence Against Women and Girls has emerged as one of the most important issues facing us as a society, with a number of high profile cases over the last 18 months bringing it to the forefront.

“This is clearly a hugely significant issue, and is not simply the responsibility of the police. It is something that we can only tackle by working collaboratively, involving all groups and stakeholders and across all parts of society

“The Statement of Intent is an important step towards building that collaborative approach, bringing different organisations together around a shared set of principles to address Violence Against Women and Girls.

“After working closely with the VRU and other partners in developing the Statement, I’m pleased that I was able to speak at the launch event.

“It was fantastic to see so many organisations there, something which speaks to the collective desire to deliver real change for women and girls here in South Yorkshire.”

Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit said: “Violence Against Women and Girls has a terrible impact directly on victims, and indirectly on other women and girls who too often do not feel safe in our communities. Addressing this issue is a priority for the Violence Reduction Unit.

“We have previously held three engagement events, bringing together organisations, victims, charities, community groups, and support services to inform our work and strengthen links between different stakeholders.

“Following these events, we have worked with partners to develop the partnership Statement of Intent, which establishes a shared framework for tackling Violence Against Women and Girls in South Yorkshire.

“I am grateful to all the organisations who have signed up to the Statement. I look forward to working with them as we continue to build a collective approach to this challenge in the weeks and months to come.”

Lauren Poultney, Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police said: “I have signed this Statement of Intent on behalf of South Yorkshire Police to demonstrate our support but I wholly recognise that when the issue is flagged to the police, something in society has already failed, someone has been failed.

“We must take a collective approach to stand against all forms of Violence Against Women and Girls.

“We must say ‘No More’ to the everyday micro-aggressions faced by women, all women.

“Any tolerance of this level of abuse lowers the bar, it normalises an unacceptable behaviour and makes it even more challenging for the woman or girl to speak out.

“That is why I give our commitment and call upon others to give theirs, to be an upstander not a bystander in challenging such behaviours.”

You can read the full Statement of Intent and the list of signatory organisations here.