Residents are invited to have their say on the council’s new strategy to prevent violence against women and girls.

The Violence Against Women and Girls Strategy objectives will be to tackle domestic violence, abuse, sexual violence, female genital mutilation, so-called 'honour-based' violence, forced marriage and stalking and harassment.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said: “The Council and local organisations have been working extremely hard to tackle the issues of domestic violence against women and girls.

“Research suggests that incidents of domestic and sexual violence, forced marriage, so-called ‘honour-based’ violence and female genital mutilation are still under-reported.”

Violence against women and girls (VAWG) are high-risk serious crimes that have a devastating impact on people’s lives, the economy, health services, and the criminal justice system.

Cllr Roberts continued: “We want to raise awareness of the issues, encourage individuals and communities to report cases to the authorities and further improve services available to them.

“We would like to encourage as many people to take part in this consultation and help us develop an approach that benefits everyone affected by domestic abuse and violence.”

A three-year plan has been developed by the Richmond Community Safety Partnership and aims to reduce the prevalence of violence against women and girls.

It will also pressure local organisations to build new skills and capability as well as provide effective advice and support services to reduce serious harm resulting from violence against women and girls.

It will also increase the number reported offenders brought to justice.