Awareness raising event for domestic abuse watched by hundreds
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More than 700 people joined a domestic abuse seminar hosted by Leicestershire Police earlier this month.
The event, which aimed to raise awareness of domestic abuse, took place at the Lohana Mahajan Tilda Hall on Hildyard Road in Leicester’s Belgrave area.
Organised by Chief Inspector Kam Mistry and PCSO Ranjit Sonigra, alongside Leicester City Councillors and Shree Lohana Mahajan, it featured a play performed in Gujarati, depicting domestic abuse. In addition, there was information about the signs of domestic abuse in both English and Gujarati and how to get help and support from other agencies as well as from the police.
Chief Inspector Mistry has responsibility for Domestic Abuse within the force.
He said: “We know that in many communities, often domestic abuse goes unreported for reasons including fear of the stigma or shame it could bring, fear of reprisals or dishonour to a family or because economic support may be withdrawn by a perpetrator. Victims can feel isolated and may also worry about language barriers.”
“Holding an event like this, which is open to all communities from across Leicester and further afield, is really important. Our hope is that by showing people where help is available and the different forms that domestic abuse can take, will empower individuals to come forward so that they know they don’t have to suffer in silence. There are other organisations that victims of domestic abuse can approach for support. It isn’t just the police and translation services are always available.”
“We were extremely pleased to have around 250 people attend in person including those from the Asian communities, while a further 500 watched via Facebook Live as we streamed it. We hope to build on this success and are happy to hold similar events elsewhere."
Representatives from UAVA (United Against Violence and Abuse) also attended, along with community leaders from the Neighbourhood Active project which seeks community cohesion and empowerment, as well as Project 360, which supports victims of domestic abuse. Leicestershire Police Cadets were also present.
The play was performed by committee members from the temple led by Mr Hemandra Modi, a presenter at a local radio station.
Mr Chetanbhai Amlani, President of the Lohana Mahajan, said he was honoured that Leicestershire Police used their platform to host the domestic abuse awareness event at their Tilda Hall and the doors are always open for any future projects with them.
Mrs Ranjan Kanabar, secretary of the Ladies wing, said: “It was a fantastic project which made people aware of different types of domestic abuse and the help that’s available. We hope this encourages more victims to come out and be brave in reporting abuse.”
MP Bob Blackman, who represents Harrow East and His Holiness Guruji Shri Rajrajeshwar a spiritual Leader, both made the journey to Leicester to present Parliamentary Appreciation Awards to Chief Inspector Mistry and PCSO Ranjit Sonigra for organising the event.
Mr Blackman has himself been recognised for his services to communities by the Indian Government through the Padma Shree Award.
For more information on domestic abuse and how to report it, along with support organisations visit the force website.
Leicester City Council recently launched a campaign to reach out to Asian women who are victims of domestic abuse in partnership with (UAVA), and the Zinthiya Trust. It aims to challenge the perceptions of domestic abuse in different communities across the city and is being supported by Leicestershire Police.
UAVA can be contacted on 0808 80 200 28. In an emergency, when someone is being harmed, contact the police on 999.