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Violence against women and girls

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Violence against women and girls

Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) is both a form of discrimination and violation of human rights. These include the following:

  • Domestic violence and abuse
  • Coercive and controlling behaviour
  • Financial abuse
  • Sexual violence including rape
  • Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
  • Forced marriage
  • Crimes in the name of “honour”
  • Stalking
  • Prostitution and trafficking
  • Sexual exploitation
  • Girls and gang violence

If you are experiencing any form of violence, abuse or intimidation, don't suffer in silence. Our help page has information on what to do if you are suffering any of these forms of abuse, or are concerned about someone you know or someone in your community. Men and boys can also be victims and there are services that will help them.

Visit the experiencing violence or abuse webpage

See also our directory of domestic and sexual violence services for additional help and support.

VAWG Strategy 2021 - 2026 

Islington Council strongly believes that every woman and girl has the right to pursue a fulfilling and successful life without fear of intimidation, harassment, bullying or violence. For many women, however, this right is not respected. Our 2021 - 2026 strategy sets out how we will work with partners to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls, support survivors, and rehabilitate perpetrators. The VAWG Strategy’s mission statement is clear:

“Islington has a zero-tolerance approach to the mistreatment, abuse and violation of women and girls. Any form of violence against women and girls is unacceptable and abhorrent. Our aim is to eliminate all forms of such violence, support survivors and to rehabilitate and make perpetrators accountable for their actions. Regardless of our own gender, we all stand in solidarity with our sisters to eradicate this epidemic.”

Read the full strategy

Domestic abuse 

Domestic violence is “any incident or pattern of controlling, coercive, 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 includes:

  • Controlling behaviour is a range of acts designed to make a person dependent by isolating them from sources of support, depriving them of the means needed for independence, resistance and escape, and regulating their everyday behaviour
  • Coercive behaviour is an act or pattern of acts of assault, threats, humiliation and intimidation or other abuse that is used to harm, punish or frighten their victim 
  • This definition also includes so called 'honour' based violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriage

Who to contact

  • If you are experiencing domestic abuse please contact Solace in Islington who provide free and confidential support for women and men in Islington affected by abuse. Call 020 3795 5070 or email (lines are open Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm)
  • If you are concerned about a child, please contact the Children’s Services Contact Team on 020 7527 7400.
  • If you are in immediate danger call 999
  • Victim Support freephone 0808 168 9291 (lines are open Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm and Saturday, 9am-5pm). If you need support outside opening hours, call the Supportline on freephone 0808 1689 111 or request support via the Victim Support website
  • The Samira Project is a partnership project in Islington between IMECE Women’s Centre, Latin American Women’s Aid and Kurdish and Middle Eastern Women’s Organisation (KMEWO) supporting BME women aged 16+ who subject to VAWG including, domestic violence, harmful practices, such as forced marriage, “honour” based violence and female genital mutilation (FGM). The contact detail of the partners are:
    - Email:
    - Imece Women's Centre: 0207 354 1359 - Monday and Wednesday 9.30am to 5.30pm
    - Latin American Women's Aid (LAWA): 020 7275 0321 - Thursday and Friday 9.30am to 5.30pm
    - Kurdish Middle East Women Organisation (KMEWO) : 020 7263 1027 -Tuesday 9.30am to 5.30pm

If you are harming your loved ones

Journey to Change is our service for people who have caused harm to or frightened someone they care about and want support to change.

We offer non-judgemental, one-to-one support to help you build healthy relationships and can also help with housing, employment, mental health and substance misuse. This service has been accredited by Respect, the standard for work with perpetrators of domestic abuse.

You can refer yourself by emailing:

Domestic Homicide Review

Tragically, people sometimes die as a result of domestic abuse. When this happens, professionals involved in the case must conduct a multi-agency review of what happened so that we can identify what needs to be changed to reduce the risk of it happening again in the future. This is known as a Domestic Homicide Review.

You can download the details of Islington Domestic Homicide Reviews from the bottom of this page.

VAWG practice priorities

Islington Council invested an additional £2 million funding from April 2020 to tackle Violence against Women and Girls (VAWG) over the next three years. This is supporting an ambitious programme of service transformation to increase services and support to vulnerable victims and families and support behaviour change in people using violence in their relationships. The VAWG and Youth Safety service in the council is working with colleagues and organisations across the local partnership providing training and case consultations to deliver a new VAWG practice model that focuses on four key objectives:

  1. Engaging men who use violence and abuse
    - Our effort to do this more in Keel came from identifying a significant gap in services engaging with men to address their abusive behaviour
  2. Safety planning, recovery and repair for children
    - Supporting all services to recognise and keep in mind the impact of domestic abuse on children
  3. Supporting victims – moving away from ‘failure to protect’
    - Shifting the focus from “Why didn’t she leave?” to “Why didn’t he stop?” and recognising the impact of coercive control on victims
  4. Developing a community response to domestic abuse
    - Supporting different agencies to work together, align practice and share the same goals – domestic abuse is not only the responsibility of police or children’s services

If you would like to find out more please contact the VAWG Workforce and Practice development team on

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