Newsletter February 2019

Newsletteraug 18

Animation premieres to tackle child exploitation

An innovative animation, specifically designed to safeguard children from exploitation and abuse premiered last month. I funded the animation, called 'Mister Shapeshifter' through £36,000 of grant money. It uses a modern 'fairy tale' to depict how some adults' can abuse children's trust and highlights ways in which they can protect themselves. The resource is intended to reach as wide an audience as possible and is available online for anyone to use, supported by a free to access package of training material and activities. It is designed to help teachers, parents and community groups to discuss these complex issues and deliver a consistent message to children across the county. To find out more visit www.mrshapeshifter.com

For Newsleter Mr Shape

Modern Slavery Inquiry

I attended the Home Affairs Select Committee (HASC) in January to give evidence as part of their Modern Slavery inquiry. I shared my experiences with the Committee, and specifically around the need for more collaborative working, greater care for victims and survivors, as well as additional resources and training. The Independent Review into the Modern Slavery Act 2015 also released an interim report in January and the recommendations published within largely mirror many of my own observations, particularly around the role of businesses and their supply chains, which we have discussed at the National Anti-Trafficking and Modern Slavery Network (NATMSN). I also welcome the proposal to embed the reporting of modern day slavery into business culture and to increase transparency. We must, however, look towards a mechanism that allows us to monitor the compliance of businesses and ways to enforce this in a workable way.

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Foodbank praise following donation and visit

I recently paid a timely visit to one of our county's food banks. This followed a joint donation from myself and the Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police, of nearly £50,000 to foodbanks across West Yorkshire last year. The West Yorkshire Food Poverty Network is made up of 5 smaller food networks that cover each district of West Yorkshire. The Network ensures all 5 areas are working together to bring about a coordinated approach to tackling food poverty. It's a very sad fact that food banks are needed across our districts but I was pleased to be able to provide some assistance with the joint donation and make a very worthwhile visit to see one of the foodbanks in operation.

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New Clare's Law Campaign launched

A new campaign encouraging anyone with concerns about their current or ex-partner to use their 'right to ask' to check whether they have a history of domestic abuse has been launched. The Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, also known as Clare's Law, has been in place in West Yorkshire since 2014. The number of requests has been increasing over recent years but West Yorkshire Police is keen to ensure that all members of the public are aware of their right to ask whether their partner or ex-partner poses a risk to them. Applications can be made by males or females over the age of 16-years-old in heterosexual or same-sex relationships. If police checks show that the partner or ex-partner has a record of abusive behaviour or there is other information to indicate the applicant may be at risk, a multi-agency decision will be taken on what information should be shared. For more information on the scheme visit www.westyorkshire.police.uk/clareslaw.

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If you've been affected by crime, Victim Support can give you the help you need to move forward. Their services are free, confidential and available to anyone in England and Wales, regardless of whether the crime has been reported or how long ago it happened. To find out more about their services visit www.victimsupport.org.uk or call 0300 303 1971.

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