Bristol was the first City in the UK to sign the European Charter for Equality for Men and Women in local life and has a duty to ensure engagement from all of the institutions and organisations in its territory, in order to promote the achievement of real equality in practice. Bristol City Council are required to report on progress every two years and Bristol Zero Tolerance demonstrates good progress towards Article 22 – Gender-Based Violence.
In a survey in June 2014, Bristol Women’s Commission partner agencies clearly demonstrated that the majority of organisations would welcome help and advice in developing policies and procedures for staff and clients/students who disclose domestic and sexual violence either as victims or perpetrators and they require the development of training programmes to put their policies into practice. This was also reflected in recommendations from local Domestic Homicide Reviews.
The Bristol Zero Tolerance initiative sits under the Bristol Domestic and Sexual Abuse Strategy Group, run as part of Safer Bristol, and feeds into the work of this body. The Strategy Group oversees the Bristol Against Violence and Abuse Strategy 2015-2020, and acts as the Domestic Homicide Review Advisory Group. It also ensures that the action plans of the sub-groups on domestic violence and abuse, rape and sexual abuse, female genital mutilation, forced marriage, sex work, and modern slavery are implemented. The initiative also feeds into the 2013 Health and Wellbeing Strategy, as domestic violence is one of the ten priorities, and reflects Public Health outcomes.
Bristol Women’s Commission also have a Safety Task Group and Bristol Zero Tolerance is involved in this work. Bristol Zero Tolerance is a member of the End Violence Against Women Coalition (EVAW) and feed into national and international processes and structures.