24 November 2014

City shines spotlight on violence against women and girls

A city-wide campaign to help victims & survivors of domestic violence & abuse, as well as rape & sexual assault, become more aware of the wide range of local support available to them will be launched in Brighton & Hove on White Ribbon Day – Tuesday 25 November.

White Ribbon Day is the start of the annual international 16 Days of Action campaign to end violence against women and girls.

Brighton & Hove is a ‘White Ribbon City’ status in recognition of its commitment to the international White Ribbon Campaign to ensure men take more responsibility for reducing the level of violence against women.

Brighton & Hove City Council is working with partner agencies including Sussex Police and local specialist domestic and sexual violence services Rise and Survivors’ Network.

More than 16,000 women experienced domestic violence and abuse, sexual assault or stalking in Brighton & Hove last year. The individual, economic and social cost to the city of domestic and sexual violence and abuse alone is estimated to be £143 million per annum.

Events marking 16 Days (full details below) include:

  • a ‘Living Library’ event at the Jubilee Library where you can meet ordinary people affected by domestic abuse and hear their stories
  • a conference on stalking at the University of Sussex
  • a Survivors’ Knitwork
  • a ‘Charity Chuckle’ comedy night at the Komedia in support of local charities Rise and Survivors’ Network.

A range of help & support is available in the city, and for information about domestic violence and abuse, contact the Brighton & Hove RISE Domestic Abuse Helpline on 01273 622822 or For information about rape, childhood sexual abuse or sexual assault, contact the Survivors' Network Helpline on 01273 720110.

A domestic abuse drop-in 'surgery' also operates every Wednesday morning between 9am to midday at the customer centre at Hove Town Hall.

It offers people a safe space to talk through their concerns and find out more about the support that is available to them. The service is a joint initiative between the council, Sussex Police and Rise.

Brighton and Hove Albion FC is also marking 16 Days by signing up to the White Ribbon Pledge as part of its match day activities on November 29.

The council's deputy leader and women’s champion, Councillor Ruth Buckley, said: “Domestic violence, rape, forced marriage and sexual exploitation are crimes that disproportionately affect women. They destroy and taint not only the lives of the victim, but also impact on family and friends. As a council we are determined to do all we can to eliminate violence.

“We’re working with all our partners in the city to help those affected by domestic violence and abuse, to offer a refuge to those directly under threat, and to educate school children about healthy relationships.

"We are proud of our status as a ‘White Ribbon City’ and we remain committed to its aims of never committing, condoning or remaining silent about violence against women, and to helping and supporting women whose lives have been affected by violence.

“The statistics on domestic violence and abuse are shocking, especially the link between DV and child abuse, however there is evidence that more instances of it are now being reported and action taken.

“We believe this is in a small way partly down to the work we and our partner agencies have done in raising awareness of the issue, getting the message across that help is available and taking appropriate action against the abuser.

“We want local people to know that anyone who reports sexual or domestic violence or abuse will be taken seriously, listened to and offered support.”

EVENTS

Wednesday 26 November 2014, 1-5pm: Talking Stalking

The conference aims to raise awareness of the complexities of stalking behaviours as well as the impact on victims and the community in general

Venue: Westlain House Lecture Theatre, Falmer Campus, University of Brighton

​Cost: Free

Thursday 27 November, 2-5pm – the Rise 'Living Library'

Domestic abuse affects so many people. Discover stories of survival. Volunteer Living Books will make themselves available to be ‘borrowed’ by members of the public for open conversation about their lives and experiences.

Venue: Jubilee Library, Brighton

​Cost: Free

Monday 1 December, 4.30pm: Brighton Women’s Centre - 40 Years Empowering Women and 40 Photos “Proud to be a woman” Exhibition Opening and 2014 AGM

Over the decades Brighton Women's Centre has developed into a unique woman-only space, and now is the only holistic organisation providing services to the city’s vulnerable and disadvantaged women. We’ll be selecting 40 of our favourite selfies to display as part of a public photography exhibition in December 2014 at the Jubilee Library, Brighton to celebrate our 40th birthday.

Venue: Jubilee Library, Brighton

Cost: Free. For more information click here or contact oliviamartin@womenscentre.org.uk to RSVP

Wednesday 3 December, 11am to 2pm: Survivors’ Knitwork – Casting On

Inspired by the writings of Nina Burrowes, and the illustrations in her book ‘The Courage to Be Me’, this aims to bring together survivors of sexual violence, their supporters and the wider community to create a beautiful, communal scarf. As well as highlighting that survivors can be both hidden and comforted the project will also be a physical embodiment of the power of sharing, connecting and acting together.

Venue: Survivors' Network drop-in, Central Brighton

Cost: Free

More information: For more information and directions to the drop-in, contact admin@survivorsnetwork.org.uk or 01273 203380

Tuesday 9 December – Charity Chuckle's Christmas Cracker!

The award winning Charity Chuckle’s Christmas Cracker! Featuring PAPPY’S, Mrs Barbara Nice, Zoe Lyons, Sofie Hagen, Kate Lucas and compered by the fabulous MISS BEHAVE!

In support of RISE and Survivors’ Network, as part of 16 Days

Venue: Komedia, Brighton

Cost: Ticketed.