Coventry comes together to support 16 Days of Action against domestic abuse

Published Thursday, 18 November 2021

The global theme for this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence, which will run from 25 November to 10 December 2021, is “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”

Coventry comes together to support 16 Days of Action against domestic abuse

The Global 16 Days Campaign was launched in 1991 and has been used worldwide to call for the elimination of gender-based violence. It is run annually from November 25 (International Day Against Violence Against Women) to December 10 (International Human Rights Day).

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign. To commemorate the anniversary, the campaign will have an additional special theme focusing on femicide. The term “femicide” was established by feminist researcher and author Diana Russell in the 1970s, in the hope that by highlighting the killing of women as a specific type of male violence against women, governments and other actors would take steps to reduce such killings worldwide.

Today until Friday 10 December, Coventry City Council will be raising awareness of Domestic Abuse through the 16 Days of Action campaign. This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Global 16 Days Campaign.

Since 1991, 5,167 groups in 187 countries have contributed to promoting and supporting these 16 Days. Large organisations such as the world-renowned Amnesty International and World Health Organisation support and celebrate the 16 Days, as well as far more local, grassroots projects.

Domestic abuse provisions in Coventry, includes Coventry Haven, Valley House, Panahghar and Relate. There is also a programme to jointly support children affected by domestic abuse using a counselling service and their non-abusing parent to help re-establish parental relationships; and a 18-week perpetrator programme, called Choose2Change, to try and stop further abuse in the future.

This is all part of a citywide domestic abuse strategy running from 2018 to 2023, which was set out to tackle the on-going crime. This has influenced the way the commissioned services have been brought together, and also focuses on preventing honour-based violence and forced marriage.

Cllr Pervez Akhtar, Deputy Cabinet Member for Policing and Equalities, said supporting victims and preventing domestic abuse in all its forms is a priority for the city:

 “We are very conscious of the reality of the impact that domestic abuse has on its victims and their families and the 16 Days of Action campaign is a great reminder of the clear strategy in place for Coventry, which aims to improve the response from all agencies to incidents of domestic abuse and remove barriers which prevent some communities from seeking help.

“It is estimated that the annual cost of domestic abuse collectively for Coventry is around £35m. The ongoing pandemic has made already challenging times, extra difficult for those living with domestic abuse and we will continue to work with partner agencies to manage and address domestic abuse in a sensitive and supportive way. This includes providing support to those groups currently under-represented and most vulnerable – like older people, men, people from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities, as well as the LGBT+ community.”

“The Safe to Talk website enables easy access to help and support either as members of the public or professionals who may wish to refer individuals.

“All of us need to be vigilant. We need to help understand domestic abuse in all its forms and support victims to bring these crimes out into the open.”

Elaine Yates, CEO for Coventry Haven Women's Aid said Elaine Yates, CEO for Coventry Haven Women's Aid said: "Coventry Haven WA recognise 16 days of action against gender-based violence as an important opportunity to raise awareness and to call for action to end violence against women. We have supported this campaign over many years - and never has this message felt more poignant than in this year which has highlighted the serious issue of women's safety in society.

The Safe to Talk helpline provides free advice, support and information to victims, children and perpetrators, with access to multi-lingual specialist workers.  This makes it easier for individuals to access the services they need, offering support options in areas that are close to them.   

“There is still a lot of work to do around domestic abuse in the city, and our consortia commits to working together in the long term to further develop services that are accessible to all."

Spanning across 16 days, Coventry City Council will be identifying a different theme each day to explore the various forms of domestic abuse. You will see the messages on both the Coventry City Council Facebook and Twitter profiles.

You will also notice that some parts of the city centre will be lit orange (the colour theme for this year), including Christchurch Spire and the Whittle Arch to mark this campaign.

Coventry City Council are keen to ensure the message that ‘Domestic Abuse is Everybody’s Business’ is at the forefront of conversations. We ask you to make it part of your conversations across these 16 days. In particular on the first day (25 November - White Ribbon Day) for men to not sit back but be upstanding and challenge themselves and other men’s attitudes and behaviour to women.

On Thursday 25th November the council are encouraging their workforce to wear orange to support the 16 Days Of Action, but this doesn’t mean that you can’t join in too! If you’re on social media, why not add to your support, by uploading a photo of yourself wearing orange, tweeting or posting on Facebook, ‘#IWoreOrange to support #16DaysOfAction. Make #DomesticAbuse #EverybodysBusiness’, tagging the council profiles into your post or tweet.

Visit the 16 Days of Action website for any further information you would like to know about this campaign.


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