The South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit and Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings, have held a virtual Listening Event to give victims, charities, community groups, and support services the opportunity to share their views and experiences of Violence Against Women and Girls.

The event was held to ensure that the direction of the Police and Crime Commissioner’s strategy, and the work of the Violence Reduction Unit across the county, are informed by those who experience violence in all its forms every day.

During the event, attendees heard testimony from a survivor of domestic violence, and a contribution from Dr Michaela Rogers, a Senior Lecturer in Social Work at the University of Sheffield, before moving into breakout rooms to allow people to discuss this issue and share their thoughts in smaller groups.

Commenting, Graham Jones, Head of the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, said: “Violence Against Women and Girls has a terrible impact on individual women and on our wider society, and this was reflected in the powerful testimony we heard during our Listening Event.

“Tackling this issue is a priority for the South Yorkshire Violence Reduction Unit, and that’s why we held this event with victims, charities, community groups, and support services, so that their experiences inform the work we are doing in the coming months.”

Commenting, Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, said: “Violence Against Women and Girls has emerged as one of the most important challenges we face, and tackling this issue is central to my aim of ensuring that South Yorkshire is a place where people both feel safe, and are safe.

“I am pleased that I was able to attend the Listening Event, so that my approach is shaped by the views of those who experience this issue day-to-day.

“I particularly recognise that we must also tackle the question of male attitudes and behaviour since most of the violence we are talking about starts with men.

“I am grateful to all those who attended and shared their thoughts, and I am committed to continued engagement with victims, communities, and other key partners on this issue moving forward.”