People in Liverpool are being asked to participate in two events to highlight women who lose their lives to domestic violence in England and Wales.
At 10am on Wednesday 25 November – the UN Day of Elimination of Violence Towards Women – people are being invited to attend a short ceremony and watch as 104 white and orange flowers representing the number of women murdered by their partner each year are dropped into the canal link at the Pier Head. In addition, the Cunard Building and St George’s Hall will both be lit up orange in the evening to mark the day.
It marks the start of 16 days of activism which will also see campaigners from ActionAid converge on the statue of Bessie Braddock at Lime Street station on Saturday 28 November at 2.30pm, and adorn it with a red sash as part of their ‘fearless women’ campaign. The former Liverpool City Councillor and MP who died in 1970, was an ardent socialist and fiery campaigner particularly in the fields of maternity, child welfare and youth crime.
Councillor Emily Spurrell, Mayoral lead for community safety, said: “This is a really important issue which is often hidden and unreported because of fear of the consequences.
“More than a third of women and girls experience some form of physical and or sexual violence in their lifetime and most of the time it is from someone they know. Violence in any form towards women is not inevitable or predictable – it can and must be stopped.
“Domestic abuse does not just affect the victim, but children as well and Department of Health figures show at least 750,000 children a year witness it with many being abused by the same perpetrator.
“It’s time to say enough is enough. Violence against women is completely avoidable and we all need to take responsibility to see it end. And we start with remembering all those women and girls who have died simply because they are women.”
Kate Menear from ActionAid said: “Bessie Braddock dedicated her life to helping others, through her work as a social activist in Liverpool in her early years, as a Liverpool Labour Councillor in the 1930s and during the second world war, when she left her union post to join the Liverpool Ambulance Service as a driver, attached to G Division which included driving through major air raids in the city during World War Two.
“She was Fearless,” says Kate, “and the people of Liverpool can be too.”
People taking part in the event at Lime Street railway station on 28 November can follow @ActionAidUK and tweet their messages and pictures with the hashtag #Fearless or #FearlessLiverpool
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse, the following links can be used:
If you are being abused or suffering indirectly as the result of abuse (a child or family member), call the Women’s Aid 24 hour helpline on 0808 2000 247. The Women’s Aid website also has a directory of local domestic violence services in Merseyside and the wider North West.
The Respect Phoneline provides confidential advice for people who are abusive and/or violent towards their partners. Visit the Respect Phoneline website or call 0808 802 4040 (free from landlines and most mobile phones).