Issue - items at meetings - Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence Outcomes in Procurement and Commissioning

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Issue - meetings

Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence Outcomes in Procurement and Commissioning

Meeting: 10/10/2016 - Neighbourhoods, Communities and Equalities Committee (Item 25)

25 Addressing Sexual and Domestic Violence Outcomes in Procurement and Commissioning pdf icon PDF 266 KB

Report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and the Acting Director of Public Health (copy attached)

Additional documents:


25.1    The Committee considered a joint report of the Executive Director of Finance and Resources and the Acting Director of Public Health which sought its approval to implement guidance to address domestic violence and abuse (DVA), rape, sexual violence and abuse (RSVA) and other forms of violence against women and girls (VAWG).


25.2    The Violence Against Women and Girls Commissioner, James Rowlands, explained that DVA and RSVA had a significant impact in Brighton and Hove. In 2015/16 there had been 4,575 domestic violence incidents and crimes reported to the police (an increase of 4.7%compared with the previous year) and 667 police recorded sexual offences (an increase of 12.3% compared with the previous year). It was likely that police’ recorded data under represented the scale of violence and abuse as substantial numbers of people did not report to the police. Similarly, there was a range of other forms of violence and abuse which had an impact on the city. In response, Brighton and Hove had a VAWG Strategy, which was consistent with the approach taken by HM Government’s recently updated “Ending violence Against Women and Girls Strategy 2016-2020.”


25.3    Men could and did also experience violence and abuse (boys as children could witness or experience the same), their needs also needed to be given consideration. Consequently, it was important to ensure that support was available proportionate to the needs of men and boys. The proposal to address DVA, RSVA, and VAWG crime types in procurement and commissioning should help to benefit men and women affected by violence and abuse.


25.4    The Head of Community Safety, Peter Castleton explained that whilst increases in the number of instances recorded were welcomed, as it appeared that they related to increased confidence in the reporting process rather than an increase in the number of incidents per-se, it did none-the-less present a challenge in terms of how to respond to that most appropriately going forward. A key driver was recognition that the response to this type of violence should provide an opportunity for intervention with the victim/survivor at every point of interaction with them. There was clear evidence that many victims/survivors found it difficult to access help and support. A further driver in the strategies being put into place was the recognition that for many victims/survivors the workplace was a critical place of safety but that it could also be a place of risk if a perpetrator knew where someone worked. Employers could therefore play a critical role in identifying and developing robust policies to support employees who might be affected by violence and abuse.


25.5    The Chair, Councillor Daniel, welcomed the report which illustrated how this serious issue could be addressed via the procurement and commissioning process.


25.6    Councillor Littman concurred with all that had been said stating that excellent work had been undertaken and was evidenced by the report. Whilst focusing on women and girls it had been made clear that anyone could be affected. He thought it was important however to mention that there were individuals who did not identify with a particular gender asking whether this could be addressed in the guidance. It was confirmed that this would be done.


25.7    Anusree Biswas Sassidharan considered that the guidance was well put together and sought clarification that measures were in place to address that any gaps that were identified. Also, no figure had been included for men and boys and it was confirmed that information was available and would be included.


25.8    Councillor Wealles welcomed the report but considered that it was important to draw out that men and boys and those who were disabled could also experience sexual and domestic violence and bullying. It was confirmed that this was being addressed going forward and that women and girls had been focused on for this piece of work.


25.9    RESOLVED – (1) That the Committee approves the implementation of the guidance set out in Appendix One to address DVA, RSVA and VAWG issues in procurement and commissioning activity; and


(2) That the committee notes that if the recommendation at 2.1 is agreed an update report on the effect of implementing the guidance will be brought back to committee for its consideration.


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