A new scheme launched by Hillingdon Council will see a series of coffee mornings held to support women who are victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
The council is trying to reach out to women who may not know where to go to talk about their abuse and are hoping the coffee mornings will offer a safe place to share their experiences.
Hillingdon Council announced the White Ribbon Day coffee mornings in November and the first event will be held on Friday (December 9).
The council's cabinet member for social services, houses, health and wellbeing, Councillor Philip Corthorne, said: “Hillingdon Council will continue to work closely with domestic violence partners and agencies to support victims of abuse, and safeguard the freedoms of women and young people in the borough.
“The White Ribbon coffee morning event is our chance to reach out to members in the community and create a safe place where victims can come to express their fears and concerns in a non-judgemental setting.”
The mornings will be an opportunity to give victims a voice and aims to empower women to seek advice or further help from professionals.
A national crime survey by the Office for National Statistics in 2015 found that 8% of women and 4% of men aged between 16 and 59 have experienced some form of domestic abuse.
But the real figure is likely to be much higher because of the incidents that go unreported.
Hillingdon Council is hoping the coffee mornings, which were devised with the help of professionals and victims, will help uncover some of these hidden cases.
The first coffee morning will be held on Friday (December 9) from 9am to 2pm at St Margaret's Church in Windsor Street, Uxbridge.
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