Richmond Council is running workshops this month to raise awareness in communities about domestic abuse.

The events are part of White Ribbon Day, United Nations led campaign for the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.

Due to significant increases in violence, harassment and abuse during the coronavirus pandemic, 2020's programme is more significant than ever.

And as residents enter a second lockdown, victims, survivors and families of domestic abuse sufferers can find themselves at greater risk or feeling anxious.

In partnership with local organisations including REFUGE, the Asian Women Resource Centre, Age UK, ManKind, Safety Net, GALOP and Al-Aman, two virtual workshops are being held in November.

Cllr Gareth Roberts, Leader of Richmond Council, said:

“For some in our borough, home is not a place of safety but a place of fear, and we know that this has been exasperated during the pandemic as people are self-isolating and social distancing at home. Now, as we return to a second lockdown, concerns are heightened.

“Our dedicated Community Safety Team, along with local organisations, provide additional support to victims, survivors and families of domestic abuse who might be feeling more unsafe during this time, especially if they are at home with an abuser.

“These workshops will help us continue to build strong communities and networks across the borough – ensuring that we can all recognise and act on domestic violence concerns. No one should be alone.”

The first event on November 25 will be for residents, to help raise awareness of domestic abuse, cultural issues and barriers when it comes to seeking support and empower people to contact organisations when they or someone they know is experiencing domestic abuse. The session will look at issues such as force marriage, faith-based abuses and honour-based violence.

The second event on the November 27 is for professionals and community organisations to learn more about understanding different communities, breaking down barriers, access for all, discrimination, safety and support.

If you are concerned about your safety or the wellbeing on someone else, you can find resources here.