Violence Against Women and Girls

Violence Against Women and Girls banner showing three women side by side looking left to right


West Yorkshire Police is committed to creating an environment where women and girls can feel safe and be safe within the county, free of fear and harassment.

Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) is a strategic priority for West Yorkshire Police.

Life changing offences like rape, sexual assault, domestic abuse, stalking, harassment, and honour-based abuse disproportionately affect women and girls here in West Yorkshire and in wider society nationally. 

Following the tragic events in 2021, police forces nationally took action and there has been a fundamental shift in focus on these offences and the scale of the problem.

Since December 2021, West Yorkshire Police has worked with partners, internally and externally, the third sector and communities to review, develop and improve policy and practice to better serve women and girls.
 
West Yorkshire Police has been identified as one of three Forces to be an exemplar Force, leading nationally with innovation and new initiatives to tackle these offences to ensure that women and girls are safe and feel safe. 

The VAWG strategy has three key priorities:

  • Pillar 1: Increasing trust and confidence in policing
     
  • Pillar 2: Pursuit of perpetrators
     
  • Pillar 3: Creating safe spaces (in private, public and online and in education)

 

White Ribbon Accreditation

West Yorkshire Police continues to be a White Ribbon accredited organisation.

This is part of a national campaign to take a stand to end all male violence against women and take action to change behaviours and culture.

Read more about the White Ribbon charity here.

Operation Soteria 

West Yorkshire Police has also become an adopter force for Operation Soteria, where we will introduce a new operating model for managing and investigating rapes and other sexual offences to get better outcomes for victims. Find out more on Operation Soteria on the NPCC website page.

 

Video - What Does VAWG Mean to You

In the following video our Chief Constable John Robins QPM DL shares what VAWG means to him and West Yorkshire Police as a Force whilst reflecting on some of the great work carried out in West Yorkshire over the past 18 months.

 

Mayor of West Yorkshire, Tracy Brabin said :

“Ensuring the safety of women and girls is a key pledge of mine, and as my Police and Crime Plan nears completion, we are generating ever increasing partnership traction in achieving our goal.

“By working together to address the issues of disproportionality in crimes affecting women and girls, we can have more influence in changing the negative cultures and behaviours that have become ingrained in society over time.

“I’m delighted that West Yorkshire Police has developed its own strategy to protect Women and Girls, running in parallel with the national policy strategy.

“I know there has been excellent work already, but this extra focus can only help us create a safer West Yorkshire".

 

Violence Against Women and Girls banner showing three women side by side looking left to right - and the words in pale green "Spoken from a survivor"


Spoken from a survivor

As part of our ongoing commitment to the Violence Against Women and Girls strategy, we spoke to a survivor of child sexual abuse. 

This survivor was a child when she was subjected to abhorrent abuse by a relative, in whom she trusted. 

Click here to read our interview with a survivor of child sexual abuse.

 

Useful Links / Contacts

 

Where to get help?

If you or a friend have been subjected to offences against women and girls please reach out for support and help. You can contact the Police anytime, but other fully confidential support agencies are also available such as:
 

Safeguarding Units

West Yorkshire Police has specialist officers in Safeguarding Units across the county, who will deal with all reports of sexual offences seriously and sensitively, putting the wishes of the victim first.


SARCs - Sexual Assault Referral Centres

SARCs are located across the country and available for everyone, regardless of gender, age, the type of incident, or when it happened. SARCs offer a range of services, including medical and forensic examinations and emergency contraception. They can also arrange access to an Independent Sexual Assault Advisor (ISVA), as well as referrals to mental health support and sexual violence support services.


Independent Sexual Assault Advisor (ISVA)

The role of the ISVA is to support people who have experienced sexual violence.  If you are going through the Criminal Justice System, your ISVA can support you throughout the process. The support can be practical, such as liaising with other professionals like your GP or finding other services that can help, such as counselling or other talking therapies. The ISVA can liaise with the Police and the Crown Prosecution Service on your behalf and provide support if the case goes to court.  Details of ISVA services are below :

  • Victim Support ISVA Service – 01274 535432 / 0300 3031971 – 8am-8pm Monday – Friday and Saturday 9am-5pm.
  • SARSVL - Support After Rape and Sexual Assault Leeds - 0808 802 3344
  • Bradford Rape Crisis – 01274 308270
  • Kirklees Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre – 01484 450040


Further additional information and support can be found here:

 

Stylised image of several women, facing side on, looking left to right, one with scarf blowing in the wind

Police Contacts

You can contact the police 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on the non-emergency number, 101.

If you are in immediate danger or there is a crime in progress, always call 999.

If you are deaf or hard of hearing in a non-emergency use Typetalk 18001 101

You can chat online to the police using our Live Chat system at www.westyorkshire.police.uk/LiveChat

 

How West Yorkshire Police deal with reports of rape or sexual assault

  • Following a 999 call reporting a rape or sexual assault specially trained officers from your local district will attend immediately.
  • These specialist officers will take information from you about what has happened. 
  • They will gather evidence relating to the suspect and if required, with your consent, will take you to the Sexual Assault Referral Centre for a medical examination. Our officers will do everything they can to put you at ease and feel as comfortable as possible.
  • After this, the case will be referred to the relevant specialist department; this could be the district CID, or the local Safeguarding Unit.
  • The type of crime, age of the victim and their location will determine which team the case will be referred.
  • All cases of rape or sexual assault will be different but in all cases the officers will be open and honest and do their best to minimise trauma and offer support for as long as you would like, including offering support from other agencies. 

 

Other helpful contact information

  • West Yorkshire Sexual Assault Referral Centre – 0330 2233617 (The Sexual Assault Referral Centre will also take self-referrals should you be unsure about reporting to the police.)
  • Crimestoppers – 0800 555 111
  • Bradford Rape Crisis – 0800 448 0710 
  • Kirklees Rape & Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre – 01484 450040

 

Page last reviewed September 2023.

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