Agencies in Kirklees Unite to Tackle Sexual Violence and Modern Day Slavery For Safeguarding Week

Saturday 22 June, 2019

Next week marks the beginning of West Yorkshire’s Safeguarding Week and agencies in Kirklees are raising awareness about modern slavery and sexual violence with a series of events.

As part of the initiative – Kirklees District Police, Kirklees Council, Hope for Justice and Victim Support has vowed to tackle modern day slavery and sexual violence and abuse.

During the week (24-28 June), there will two Live Twitter chats taking place on Wednesday (26 June) and Friday (28 June) evening from 7pm until 8pm; where members of the public will have the opportunity to ask questions to a panel of experts, which will include representatives from the police and partner agencies.

  • Wednesday 26 June between 7 - 8pm – Sexual Violence and Support – panel will consist of Victim Support and Kirklees District Police.
  • Friday 28 June between 7 – 8pm – Modern Day Slavery and Human Trafficking – panel will consist of Hope for Justice, Safer Kirklees, Kirklees Council and Kirklees District Police.

The aim of the sessions is to offer a platform where the public can interact and ask questions or seek advice from the panel on any concerns they have about modern slavery, human trafficking or sexual violence and abuse.

Detective Inspector Damian Simpson, of the Kirklees Safeguarding Unit, said: “We wanted to hold these sessions during safeguarding week to allow the public to ask for information or seek advice from us. The conversation will be open and honest and we hope that we will be able to assist members of the public and offer valuable information in the hope that we can raise awareness about these very serious issues.

“We would urge anyone who has been a victim of sexual abuse, whether recent or non-recent, to report it to the police. Please be assured that you will be listened to, taken seriously and supported by professionals with experience of dealing with these kind of offences.

“If you see something concerning either a young or vulnerable person that doesn’t feel right, or looks suspicious, you can report your concerns 100% anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or send an untraceable online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.  Reports of modern day slavery can also be made to the Modern Day Slavery Helpline 08000 121 700.”

Cllr Carole Pattison, Kirklees Council Cabinet member for Learning, Aspiration and Communities, said: “Through our partnership working with West Yorkshire Police, we are able to take a strong approach in identifying offenders and victims of human trafficking, modern slavery and sexual violence.

“Safeguarding Week is an opportunity for us to continue to raise awareness, share information and give people the opportunity to ask a panel of expert’s questions through live Twitter events.  We want the communities and citizens of Kirklees to feel safe and be protected from harm.”

Lesley McLean, Contract Manager for West Yorkshire at independent charity Victim Support, said: “We know there can be several barriers to victims of sexual assault and modern slavery coming forward to report incidents to the police and to seek support so it’s great to have this opportunity for people ask questions and learn about the support available in a more anonymous setting.

“It’s important that victims know they can seek support from us, whether or not they choose to report the incident to the police.”

More information on signs of modern say slavery and human trafficking at https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/advice/modern-slavery/modern-slavery-human-trafficking Also information including methods of reporting for victims of sexual violence can be found on the West Yorkshire Police website: https://www.westyorkshire.police.uk/staysafe

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