Wednesday 25 November marks the start of this year’s 16 Days of Action for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls.
16 Days of Action is a global campaign, seeking to galvanize action to end violence against women and girls around the world.
The start coincides with the UN International Day of Elimination of Violence against Women, and 16 Days of Action runs until Human Rights Day on Thursday 10 December.
While there can be no live events planned this year due to Covid, the message behind the campaign is more important than ever, and we’ll be using our social media accounts to raise awareness and signpost to support services
Emerging evidence from statutory and voluntary agencies across the UK has emphasised the increased risks of domestic abuse this year, with national domestic violence charity Refuge reporting a 25% increase in calls and online requests since the lockdown began in March 2020.
The White Ribbon Campaign
The start of the initiative also marks White Ribbon Day, part of a campaign encouraging community leaders to lead by example.
The White Ribbon Campaign recognises the positive role that men play in preventing violence against women, based on the understanding that most men are not violent.
It is a means for men to speak out against violence and abuse and to safely challenge the attitudes and behaviour of a minority of men who use or condone violence against women.
Brighton & Hove is committed to supporting the White Ribbon Campaign. It is important to involve men and boys as ambassadors in addressing and altering social norms which lead to violent behavior against women and girls.
You can also show your support for the campaign all year round by making the promise never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women and girls in all forms by wearing a white ribbon on the day.
If you’ve been affected by domestic or sexual abuse or violence, contact The Portal to find out more about the help, advice and support available.
The Portal is a partnership of leading Sussex Domestic and Sexual Abuse Charities including RISE, Survivors Network and cgl, which offer a range of other services across Brighton & Hove and East Sussex.
The Portal can also connect you with a range of other support services both locally and nationally depending on your individual needs and circumstances.
To contact The Portal, call freephone 0300 323 9985, email email@example.com or go to The Portal website.
If you are in immediate danger, please call 999.
If you need to, you can use the ‘silent solution’ - an automated service meaning that if you ring 999 and the operator hears no response, you will be directed to press ‘55’ if you need help.
The conversation will then continue in a way that allows the caller to communicate by using yes/no to answer questions.
For further advice and support options relating to domestic violence and abuse, visit please visit our help with domestic abuse pages.
You are not alone
Councillor Steph Powell, joint chair of the Tourism, Equalities, Communities & Culture committee said:
“With the shocking rise in national domestic abuse reports nationally we’ve seen during the pandemic, the message of the 16 Days of Action campaign is sadly more important than ever.
“For anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence, stalking or abuse in any form, this year has been particularly harrowing.
“To anyone in that horrible situation, please remember that you are not alone. Help and support is available. Abuse is a crime and it is not your fault.
“If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, you can leave your home to seek safety. Any Covid restrictions in place do not apply and support services, including the police, are available to help you.”