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The Police and Crime Commissioner has secured more than £1 million in additional funding to build on his successful education programmes and public-facing campaigns aimed at preventing male violence against women and girls. 

As part of the Home Office’s Safer Streets Fund, the PCC has been granted £458,545 to support the next steps across the West Midlands. 

He has also granted Wolverhampton Council £365,667 and Sandwell Council £227,100 for work on the project, taking the total value of the funding to the West Midlands to £1,051,312. 

A core focus of the region’s bid was on education following the positive response to the pilot scheme of #timetotalk – a programme that was delivered in 12 schools across the region by Safer Together. The programme focuses on boys in schools, helping them to understand violence against women and girls and learn how to be an ally in preventing it, and calling it out when they see it.  

The additional funding will now see the programme rolled out to 60 schools in the region alongside the development of new materials and resources. 

There will also be a continuation of the regional campaigns spearheaded by the West Midlands’ Victims’ Commissioner, Nicky Brennan.  

Between November 2021 and June 2022 – millions of people across the West Midlands will have seen or heard important messages about how everyone can play their part in ending male violence against women and girls. The new tranche of funding will support further campaigns that will be developed alongside regional agencies and experts. Some campaigns will have a distinct focus on challenging common behaviours, and others will delve into new topics that are less well understood. 

The campaigns will draw on the findings of May’s YouGov survey that shed light on how people feel about calling out abuse and perceived barriers to challenging violence against women and girls. 

The West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “Ending male violence against women and girls has been a core priority for me from day one. It was a central part of my manifesto in 2021 and it is a top priority in my Police and Crime Plan. We’ve been able to take some great strides already but there’s so much work to be done in achieving community-wide change and having more open conversations about what we can all do. This important funding will help us to do just that. 

“We wanted to put men and boys at the forefront of essential conversations about violence against women and girls. The feedback from the #timetotalk pilot was overwhelmingly positive and we’re pleased to have the chance to take it to the next level. Education can be the ‘silver bullet’. It allows us to confront the root causes of violence and break these dangerous cycles of behaviour.” 

“Following on from the Here and Now campaigns, in which we asked men to challenge one another and take the time to talk to their peers, we’ll be looking to reach even more people across the region. Change is long overdue, and we need the support of everyone to put an end to violence against women and girls.” 

The recipients of the Safer Streets Fund Round Four were announced by the Home Office on Monday 25 July, with projects funded until September 2023.  

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