Liverpool is holding a series of events in support of a United Nations campaign to break down the wall of silence surrounding domestic violence.
Domestic abuse is a crime that can affect anybody and reported incidents are on the rise. Merseyside Police received over 13,500 calls in 2018, high risk cases increased by 17 per cent and recorded crime went up by 41 per cent, compared to the previous year.
Monday 25 November is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, and the region is showing its support with the start of a 16 day campaign to raise awareness about how to speak out and gain support for anyone suffering domestic abuse.
The council’s Safer and Stronger Communities team and partner organisations will be in Williamson Square in the city centre sharing information and giving out white ribbons.
Landmark buildings including the Town Hall, Cunard Building and the Radio City Tower will be lit orange in solidarity with the international campaign.
There will also be discussions about domestic violence among groups who meet at locations including children’s centres and voluntary organisations and there has been an advertising campaign on Radio City in the run up to the launch.
According to the United Nations, 1 in 4 women in the UK annually suffer from domestic violence and between two and three women are killed each week.
Anyone wanting to report domestic abuse can do so by calling 999 in an emergency.
Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy 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.
“International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, and the 16 day campaign it kick starts, give us all an opportunity to make it clear violence will not be tolerated. By wearing orange and lighting up some of Merseyside’s most iconic buildings in this vibrant colour, we are sending out a visible message that we are supporting the United Nations campaign for a brighter future for women and girls, free from violence and abuse.
“I hope that through this campaign some of those women who do feel frightened and trapped realise there are lots of people and organisations who are there to help. Merseyside Police is one of those organisations and I’m pleased that headquarters will also be glowing orange this week to let all victims know that the police are her5e to help you to get the care and protection you need if you are escaping an abusive or violent situation.”
Cabinet member for communities and partnerships, Councillor Liz Parsons, said: ‘‘It is a sad indictment of society that violence against women and girls is an issue that even in this day and age needs tackling.
“Abuse comes in many forms and with the rise of the internet and social media means abusers have developed new ways to intimidate and silence their victims.
“Friends and relatives of victims have a huge role to play in spotting signs and offering to listen. Often it is the first step in speaking out which is the hardest thing to do.
“By raising awareness and providing information to educate people hopefully we can break down these walls and save lives.”
Support services are available at www.victimcaremerseyside.org