Darlington and County Durham’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre to train Durham City workers to prevent sexual violence and harassment.

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February 7, 2024

Darlington and County Durham’s Rape and Sexual Abuse Counselling Centre (RSACC) has received Ministry of Justice (MoJ) Safer Streets funding to deliver 1-hour Bystander Training workshops to workers in Durham City's night time economy, transport and shopping centres.

The funding, from a successful bid by the Office of Durham’s Police and Crime Commissioner, supports initiatives that deal with neighbourhood crime, violence against women and girls (VAWG) and anti-social behaviour (ASB).

Isabel Owens, RSACC CEO commented,

“We are delighted that the PCC has been able to fund our Bystander Training, which will support the safety of  women and girls on nights out in Durham City.”

“Everyone has the right to feel safe but we know sexual harassment is a significant issue across our towns and cities. Our training will empower workers to identify and safely intervene in situations of sexual harassment to ensure people across Durham feel safe when they are out and about.”

The training will cover:

● Understanding what a bystander is and the role they can play

● Recognising your own personal boundaries on acceptable behaviours and intervention

● Understanding the issues you need to consider when witnessing an event

● Understanding the correct and safe ways to intervene

Joy Allen, Durham Police and Crime Commissioner said: "Eradicating gender-based violence is a responsibility of society as a whole, and we all have our part to play.

"Through the roll out of bystander training, we will not only equip night-time economy workers with the skills they need to prevent harassment before it escalates into more serious sexual crimes, we will also send out a strong message to potential perpetrators that their behaviour will not be tolerated in our county.

"Violence against women and girls is never acceptable, and we all need to act to call out behaviour that falls short of the law, demonstrating by action that it has no place in our society."

The training will be delivered over the next 15 months, and is only one of the many training courses offered by RSACC - County Durham’s only specialist sexual violence charity. RSACC delivers a wide range of training courses to professionals, organistions and members of the public in Darlington and County Durham, covering topics including Sexual Violence Awareness, Responding to Disclosures, Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, and Domestic Violence Awareness.  Anyone wishing to find out more should contact training@rsacc-thecentre.org.uk

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