Merseyside's Deputy Police Commissioner is among the guest speakers at an event marking the United Nations’ Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG).
Cllr Emily Spurrell is opening the event, the second hosted by Tomorrow's Women Wirral (TWW) to mark the international campaign day, which is held annually on November 25th and gets underway 16 days of activities aimed at raising awareness and understanding of the issues affecting women.
Violence Against Women is a global issue, with 1 in 3 women experiencing gendered violence in their lifetime.
Orange is the official colour of the UNiTE campaign, symbolizing a brighter future free from VAWG, and people are invited to wear orange in solidarity with women across the globe, survivors of violence and champions of equality.
The event at TWW will include talks from inspirational women, activities, networking with local organisations and also a performance from TWW's very own choir, Empowering Voices.
Alongside the Deputy, the speakers will include:
- Anita Leech – Wirral Council’s Champion for Zero Tolerance to Domestic Abuse
- Jo Wood – RASA Merseyside – (rape and sexual assault support service on Merseyside)
- Laura McIntyre – Changing Lives – (providing advice and support for vulnerable women including sex workers)
- Tania Vera-Rigby – Savera UK – (challenging attitudes towards domestic abuse and harmful practices in BME communities)
- Nicola Fenton – TWW’s Domestic Abuse Empowerment Advisor
- Involve North West
Merseyside’s Deputy Police Commissioner Cllr Emily Spurrell said: "It is completely unacceptable that violence remains a part of daily life for some women and girls, either in the community or in their own homes.
“Today we are taking a stand against abuse to make it clear it will not be tolerated. By wearing orange and supporting this event, we are sending out a clear, visible message that we are supporting the UNiTE campaign for a brighter future for women and girls, free from violence and abuse.
“I hope that some of those women who do feel frightened and trapped realise they don’t need to suffer in silence and that there are lots of people and organisations who will help them if they need it.
"I am also proud to be working with our Metro Mayor, Steve Rotheram, and a host of partners to create a strategy aimed at putting a stop to all Violence and Woman and Girls in our region.”
Between March 2016 & March 2017, more than 42% of new referrals to TWW disclosed direct experience of Domestic Abuse at their first meeting with the service. Many women, on top of this percentage, often divulge their experiences on subsequent visits.
Kate Menear, Communications Officer organising the event at TWW said: “Whether you are a survivor, you know one or work with survivors of violence, domestic abuse or otherwise, we can all do our bit in the journey to equality and support an end to violence against women and girls globally. 1 in 3 women experience violence globally – we’re raising awareness to eventually reduce that statistic.”
“We know this event won’t end VAWG overnight, but we can certainly show somebody who may be dealing with a difficult situation that they’re not alone, and that there are people who are there to support them at any stage of their journey.”
Tomorrow’s Women Wirral is a small charity based in Birkenhead working with thousands of women, empowering them to make positive lifestyle changes. TWW has more than 4,800 registered with their service currently. TWW offers classes courses and activities for all women, including DA survivors, to build confidence and self-esteem.
The event is free and is open to all women to attend.
Find out more about Tomorrow Women's Wirral.