Today (25 November) Merseyside Police Headquarters, as well as other iconic venues across the city, will glow orange to mark the start of 16 days of Activism against Gender Based Violence.
The campaign aims to raise awareness around the globe of violence against women and children, particularly domestic violence, and encourage greater reporting of this hidden crime.
Saturday marks the International day for the Eradication of Violence Against Women, and is also known as White Ribbon Day, a campaign which was started by men and aims to break down the wall of silence that surrounds domestic violence.
The focus is on the reporting of offences not only by victims but by those that know that offences are being committed but remain silent.
Detective Superintendent Richie Salter from Investigations, Protecting Vulnerable People said: “We are very happy to support this campaign, which sends out a powerful message that women are suffering in silence and we have to encourage people to talk about what they are experiencing and seeing.
“We want men and women who know that offences are being committed but remain silent, as well as victims to get in contact. We all need to work together, not just the police with our partners in the local authority, NHS or charities but with members of the public to break the silence.
“White Ribbon Day and the following 16 days is a time to remember those that have suffered domestic violence but also to look forward in the hope of eliminating violence against women.
“Merseyside Police is dedicated to tackling all forms of domestic abuse. We want anyone suffering in silence to know we have specially trained officers to investigate domestic crime. We are focussed on listening not only to those that are victims but those that know people who are victims. We want them to come forward in confidence so we can take action.”
As part of the campaign, Merseyside Police has produced a powerful video, 'Sheila's Story', which is a first hand account from a woman who has experienced domestic violence.
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.
“Today we are taking a stand against abuse to make it clear it 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 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. Merseyside Police is one of those organisations and I’m proud that headquarters will be glowing orange today to let all victims know that the police are on hand to help you to get the care and protection you need if you are escaping an abusive or violent situation.”
Anyone with information should contact police via 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.