four women looking down
Photo by Rosie Sun on Unsplash

Yesterday, in some ways, was no different to most of my days as the Labour & Co-operative police and crime commissioner for Merseyside – I talked about violence against women and girls. The only difference, yesterday I talked about it at Labour conference alongside Anneliese Dodds, Labour & Co-operative MP and Chair of the Labour Party.

I talk about violence against women and girls a lot because it is a massive problem which deserves our attention everyday. Two women are murdered every week, and yesterday’s fringe event on safe and secure communities came just two days after the vigils around the country to remember and mourn Sabina Nessa.

Nationally, the police service receives a call every minute relating to domestic abuse. Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of the Constabulary calls violence against women and girls an epidemic – and they’re right. The scale of the issue is astonishing. One in seven children will have lived with domestic violence at some point in their childhood.

As a co-operator, I know that problems can’t be solved without co-operation, and partnership working underpins all of my work on tackling violence against women and girls. I have launched a domestic abuse workplace scheme, working together with employers in Merseyside to support victims. I’m working with unions too, to avoid victims losing their jobs. We now have 36 organisations signed up covering 27,134 employees with 55 employees completing the 5-day specialist training.

This is one of many schemes I’m developing in Merseyside – but at the heart of all of them is a commitment to working together, to listening to victims and developing solutions co-operatively from the bottom up rather than imposing policies from the top down. And it’s about empowering people, giving victims a voice in the services they rely on at their most vulnerable.