The head of the London Abused Women Centre is reminding city council that actions speak louder than words.
Megan Walker is calling out Councillor Stephen Turner specifically, after he tweeted on Tuesday for the National Day of Remembrance & Action on Violence Against Women, writing: “A day for reflection on what each of us can do to end Violence Against Women, not just today, but every day.”
Walker used the opportunity to ask Turner if he had taken the ‘I Step Forward’ Harassment Training.
@meggiewalk hi Megan, I tried to schedule it a couple times but ran into conflicts and out of vacation time. Trying again early in New Year.
— Stephen Turner (@st3v3turn3r) December 6, 2016
“And Councillor Turner said to me ‘no, I haven’t been able to find the time’,” Walker tells AM980. “That’s just unacceptable which means he’s asking people to take action to end men’s violence against women when he himself in the first two years of his term has not been able to make this issue a priority.”
Turner sent AM980 the following statement on Wednesday afternoon:
“One of the downsides to working full time is that it’s hard to take days off for council stuff that happens during daytime. I tried a few times to schedule the training and conflicts arose. I have no vacation time left this year and have asked to be scheduled early in the new year. That said, as a supervisor, I have done several certifications and trainings in Bill 168, health and safety and supervisors due diligence. It is a responsibility I take seriously.”
Councillor Mo Salih also indicated on twitter to Walker that he has yet to take the course.
“If you’re not even willing to take the training as the leaders of the community, how can you expect to mandate employees to take the training?” Walker asks.
“This isn’t an ivory tower where council members can look out over the kingdom — this is about being part of a community.”
AM980 has asked every member of council whether they have taken the course; only Harold Usher has yet to respond, while every other councillor has confirmed they’ve taken the course. Mayor Matt Brown tells AM980 he completed the training in 2011, but will take it again.
The ‘I Step Forward’ Harassment training was introduced in 2006.