White ribbon flag raising

East London Council marks International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

Today, Friday 25 November Barking and Dagenham council marked the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and the start of the 16 Days of Activism by raising the White Ribbon flag at Barking Town Hall – to kickstart events and activities to highlight the borough’s continued commitment to tackling domestic violence.  

Barking and Dagenham has been on a journey to transform the experiences of those affected by domestic abuse – survivors and their families. The human costs of domestic abuse are too high for individuals, families, the community and to public services – and have been so for too long.

The borough has the highest levels of reported domestic abuse in London and across the country. Violence against women and girls has a huge and profound impact on communities and tragically it had a domestic homicide at the end of October.

In response to the prevalence and impact of domestic abuse, the council launched an independent Domestic Abuse Commission in February 2020 – the first council in the country to do so. Chaired by Polly Neate CBE, the Commission brought together 12 national experts to look at the experiences of survivors, community attitudes to domestic abuse, the council and partner responses. The Commission undertook significant engagement work with residents and stakeholders and presented its findings in February 2021.

One of the recommendations of the Commission was to enable survivors to set up their own support groups and create safe spaces. In direct response, the Council donated a community space to ‘We Rise’ – a domestic abuse survivors’ group in the borough. Working together, the Domestic Abuse Hub was created – a unique offer across the country. The Hub provides a place for survivors to go to meet those with similar experiences, get support in their journey as survivors and help to raise awareness of domestic abuse.  

It has been a year since the Domestic Abuse Hub formed and following the white ribbon flag raising ceremony ‘We Rise’ held an event at the Barking Learning Centre to celebrate its first anniversary and showcase the amazing work they do and the range of clubs, activities, and support services on offer at the Hub, designed by survivors, for survivors. 

Throughout the 16 days of activism the council is delivering an exciting programme of events, sessions, launches of new projects and interventions, along with information about the work they and their partners do to tackle violence against women and girls.

Cllr Maureen Worby, Cabinet Member for Adults Social Care and Health Integration, highlights the council’s commitment to tackling violence against women and girls in the borough and said:
“Domestic abuse is a particular concern for us – our collective ambition is to stop domestic abuse, and limit its harmful effects on children, young people and adults and we are working really hard to tackle it. We have invested resources into this – starting with the independent Domestic Abuse Commission and the team in place today delivering our domestic abuse improvement programme.

“I’m so proud of our innovative initiatives like the Domestic Abuse Hub, empowering the brave and inspirational women from the ‘We Rise’ survivors panel who provide a safe space and invaluable support to other survivors of domestic abuse in the borough.


If you are experiencing domestic abuse, please know this, we believe you and you are not alone, there is local help available. We have services in place that can provide support, give you access to a safe space, and provide advice and emotional support”.

Cllr Syed Ghani, Cabinet Member for Enforcement and Community Safety, said: “Tackling violence against women and girls is our key priority. We continue to innovate and ensure we are able to deliver the right services, at the right time to those who need them. We are making strides in transforming what we do and how we do it – all the time listening to the voices of survivors and those affected.

“We have developed a four-year Domestic Abuse Improvement Programme, and it continues to drive forward our work – we have put our money where our mouth is, and I look forward to announcing new services and teams. It is an absolute pleasure to celebrate a year of the Domestic Abuse Hub and I look forward to their ongoing successes.” 

If you or someone you know are experiencing domestic abuse, please contact Refuge our specialist domestic abuse support service provider via the details below

(, call 0300 456 0174. If you are in immediate danger, please contact the police on 999