I had the privilege last week of taking Lynne Featherstone MP to meet some of the people working to tackle domestic abuse in Hull and the East Riding. Lynne is a government minister in the Department of International Development, and has worked hard to tackle violence against women and girls.
There is lots of good work going on in Hull on domestic abuse and violence against women. It was really good for Lynne to hear about some of the innovative projects, such as Strength to Change and the work Preston Road Women's Centre is doing to provide safe homes for women across the whole of Hull.
Lynne was very impressed with what she heard, and is keen to take some of the ideas back to government.
I am particularly impressed with Preston Road Women's Centre's housing project. They have received a grant for £1million from government to renovate empty homes and build new homes. These homes then provide safe houses for women who need them. The beauty of the project is that it helps fund the services they provide for women, provides safe homes, and renovates empty houses and so helps to regenerate our local communities.
They also manage houses for landlords to do the same thing. If anyone has a house they want to rent out, this is a great way to do it.
Although there is lots of good work going on to tackle the problem, it is a big problem to overcome. It is thought that 23,000 women in Hull alone suffer from violence. I really admire all the women I've met over the years who are working to fight this problem. We need to make sure that help is there for women who need it, and that we all work together to change attitudes and cultures, and stop it happening in the first place.