Cotswold District Council will continue its work to raise awareness around domestic abuse and improving access to support services in rural communities to ensure the Cotswolds are a safe place for all.

Cllr Jenny Forde, Cabinet Member for Health, Wellbeing and Public Safety, brought a motion before full council at its meeting this week, asking the council to confirm its commitment to tackle domestic abuse in all its forms.

In November 2019, the council participated in the 16 Days of Action campaign which was very successful in raising awareness across the district and also contributed towards a notable increase in domestic abuse reports in the Cotswolds.

Cllr Jenny Forde, said: “We have to stop thinking domestic abuse doesn’t happen here. This motion is part of our move to bring this taboo issue out into the open, to shine a light on the District and combat Domestic Abuse in a powerful and meaningful way.”

Throughout the 16 Days campaign, the council delivered training to frontline staff and local partner organisations to become Domestic Abuse Champions. This training helped to improve knowledge of how to spot the signs of abuse and how to effectively support and guide those disclosing domestic abuse.

Cllr Forde, added: “I’m pleased that as a Council we are taking this issue seriously by developing an ongoing programme of events and awareness-raising across the Cotswolds, particularly in our rural areas where abuse can go on for longer undetected.

“This is a key priority for our Community Safety Partnership and we will continue to work with our partners and across our services, to equip our residents with the resilience to eradicate this horrendous crime.”

Nick Gazzard, from the Hollie Gazzard Trust, attended council this week to deliver a presentation around the vast education and awareness raising the trust has delivered over the past six years.

Nick said: “Hollie Gazzard Trust are delighted to be partnering with Cotswold District Council and helping to raise awareness of domestic abuse, stalking and knife crime throughout the Cotswolds. We’re hoping that we can start to get into communities and businesses to raise awareness and help safeguard employees and individuals in those communities through the work that we do.”

Ensuring the district remains a safe and welcoming place is a responsibility for all and the council is asking for communities and individuals to speak up and report any incidents of concern to the correct authorities.

For immediate advice or to report an incident of domestic abuse, please contact GDASS on 01452 726570, by email: [email protected] or by visiting their website: https://www.gdass.org.uk/

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