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Executive Leader Cllr Brenda Warrington

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Councillor Brenda Warrington, Executive Leader of Tameside Council

Ending Hate and Gender Violence in Tameside

Friday, 15 October 2021

This week is National Hate Crime Awareness Week, and we stand together to send a simple but powerful message. A message that says regardless of your race, regardless of your religion or beliefs, regardless of your disability, sexuality, gender, or trans reassignment, you should be able to live in Tameside in safety and harmony.

Of course we know that, as much as we would wish it otherwise, the spectres of prejudice and bigotry remain with us. The latest Home Office data shows that while religious hate crimes have dropped for the second year running, there has been a marked increase in sexual orientation, disability, race and transgender-based incidents in the past twelve months. We only have to look back at this summer, and at the appalling abuse faced by Marcus Rashford and other young black English footballers, to see that hate crimes can and do occur.

The aim of our activities in Tameside for National Hate Crime Awareness Week were twofold; to make people aware of what hate crime looks like and, if they are a victim to or a witness of one, to encourage them to report it rather than look the other way. To that end, our refuse vehicles carried out their bin collection rounds with “Too Great for Hate” logos and a link to the Let’s End Hate Crime webpage on their sides. In Ashton Market an awareness stand was set up so members of the public could find out more about hate crime, discuss their own experiences and just say hello. Our community cohesion officers also proactively went around the borough to support various communities and groups, especially those that help people who are living with learning and physical disabilities.
 

If you think you, or somebody you know, has been a victim of hate crime, then please do not hesitate to report it by calling the police on 101 (or 999 if it’s an emergency), via the True Vision website here, or through the Let’s End Hate Crime website here. Don’t forget that hate crime can involve verbal and online abuse, physical attacks, criminal damage, and many other kinds of offences.

But, as always in situations like this, our success or failure in stamping out hate crime will be determined not by what we do for one week, but by what we do for the other 51 weeks of the years. As the first female Leader in Tameside Council’s history, and the Lead Member for Equalities in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, I am determined to make our city region a welcoming and accepting place for all who live, work and visit here.

That’s why I’m delighted that, following extensive consultation over the summer, the Leaders of the Greater Manchester local authorities and the Mayor Andy Burnham have approved a comprehensive and ambitious strategy, brought forward by the Deputy Mayor Bev Hughes, to tackle gender-based violence in the city region. As the brutal and shocking murders of Sarah Everard and Sabina Nessa over the past few months have shown, we still live in a world where being in the wrong place at the wrong time can be fatal for many women and girls. And while these may be among the most extreme cases of gender violence, I would go as far to say that more women than not bear the trauma of harassment, physical or sexual assault and intimidation to some degree.

 

These crimes are often the results of gender biases and inequalities, both conscious and unconscious, which have developed over generations, and I’m not going to try and pretend that there’s any quick fix. But I truly believe the GM Gender-Based Violence Strategy will not only lay the foundations to protect women and girls. It will also allow us to educate the perpetrators of gender violence, most of whom are men and boys, and challenge the deep-seated attitudes that enable it in the first place.

Hate crime and gender violence remains a blight upon our society. We will only be able to eradicate them if we all take a look at ourselves and, together, resolve to make Tameside a place where the right to live without fear, violence, hostility or intimidation is defended by all of us. Let’s stand united and make it happen.  

 

Posted by: Executive Leader


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