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Tackling violence against women and girls (VAWG) is a key mayoral priority within the Police and Crime Plan, and the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime (MOPAC) is dedicated to working with partners across London to address VAWG.

Mayor of London - tackling violence against women and girls

 

What does this mean for Merton?

Merton currently provides services for men and women who have/ are victims of domestic violence & abuse, sexual abuse, forced marriage and Violence committed in the name of "honour". This new strategy will focus on how the borough coordinates services to victims of these and other crimes listed as VAWG by the Mayor of London.
Merton will continue to provide support services to men and women who are victims of domestic violence and abuse, sexual abuse, forced marriage and violence committed in the name of "honour" and a list of services available to victims in the borough can be found on the domestic violence web page. Please see below for a list of other support services for victims of the crimes listed as VAWG.

 

Merton's VAWG strategy

Merton's Violence Against Women and Girls strategy 2016-18

 

Definition of VAWG

Type of VAWG

Definition

Child sexual exploitationSexual exploitation of children and young people under 18 involves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where young people (or a third person or persons) receive 'something' (e.g. food, accommodation, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, gifts, money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Child sexual exploitation can occur through the use of technology without the child's immediate recognition; for example being persuaded to post sexual images on the Internet/mobile phones without immediate payment or gain. In all cases, those exploiting the child/young person have power over them by virtue of their age, gender, intellect, physical strength and/or economic or other resources. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the child or young person's limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability.
Domestic abuse

Any incident or pattern of incidents of controlling, coercive or threatening behaviour, violence or abuse between those aged 16 or over who are or have been intimate partners or family members regardless of gender or sexuality. This can encompass, but is not limited to, the following types of abuse:

  • psychological
  • physical
  • sexual
  • financial
  • emotional

Controlling behaviour is: a range of acts designed to make a person subordinate and/or dependent by isolating them from sources of support, exploiting their resources and capacities for personal gain, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape and regulating their everyday behaviour. Coercive behaviour is: an act or a pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish, or frighten their victim.

Female genital mutilationInvolves the complete or partial removal or alteration of external genitalia for non-medical reasons. It is mostly carried out on young girls at some time between infancy and the age of 15. Unlike male circumcision, which is legal in many countries, it is now illegal across much of the globe, and its extensive harmful health consequences are widely recognised.
Forced marriageA marriage conducted without valid consent of one or both parties, where duress is a factor.
Violence committed in the name of "honour"Violence committed to protect or defend the 'honour' of a family and/or community. Women, especially young women, are the most common targets, often where they have acted outside community boundaries of perceived acceptable feminine/sexual behaviour. In extreme cases, the woman may be killed.
ProstitutionWomen and girls are forced, coerced or deceived to enter into prostitution and/or to keep them there.
Sexual exploitationInvolves exploitative situations, contexts and relationships where someone receives 'something' (e.g. food, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, affection, protection money) as a result of them performing, and/or another or others performing on them, sexual activities. Violence, coercion and intimidation are common, involvement in exploitative relationships being characterised in the main by the person's limited availability of choice resulting from their social/economic and/or emotional vulnerability. Girls involved in or connected to gangs are at risk of sexual exploitation by gang members.
Sexual harassmentUnwanted verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature. It can take place anywhere, including the workplace, schools, streets, public transport and social situations. It includes flashing, obscene and threatening calls, and online harassment.
Sexual violence, including rapeSexual contact without the consent of the woman/girl. Perpetrators range from total strangers to relatives and intimate partners, but most are known in some way. It can happen anywhere – in the family/household, workplace, public spaces, social settings, during war/conflict situations.
StalkingRepeated (i.e. on at least two occasions) harassment causing fear, alarm or distress. It can include threatening phone calls, texts or letters; damaging property; spying on and following the victim.
TraffickingInvolves the recruitment, transportation and exploitation of women and children for the purposes of prostitution and domestic servitude across international borders and within countries ('internal trafficking').

 

Support services

 

Contact us

Safer Merton
Merton Council
Civic Centre
London Road
Morden 
SM4 5DX

Telephone: 020 8545 4146 
Email: safer.merton@merton.gov.uk