Earlier this week, (Monday 2nd December 2013], I was invited and attended Avon’s Shine Light and Speak Out event held in the glamourous setting of London's Somerset House to address and whole heartedly support a particularly unglamorous yet completely realistic subject; Avon's campaign against domestic violence and to mark the mid-way point of ’16 Days of Activism’, a global human rights based movement against gender violence. The information at the event which saw domestic violence survivor and singer-songwriter Jamelia perform her hit 'Thank You' really opened my eyes to not only the suffering of domestic violence which affects so much of our society but to also address the lack of funding and support for domestic violence victims which arent just women, but children and family units on a whole.
Working alongside charity partners Women’s Aid and Refuge, Avon and Jamelia are determined to shine a light on the issue of domestic violence, educate more people on how to #SeeTheSigns and encourage more people to speak out and talk about this taboo subject. Together, they hope to change the shocking statistic that one in four women encounters some form of domestic abuse in their lives, whether it is physical, sexual, psychological or economic abuse and at its most extreme, it kills up to two women every week in the UK.
I was shocked to learn that through a recent Avon Cosmetics research an overwhelming 40% of women know someone who has experienced domestic violence ‘for a fact’, but whats worse, is that a terrifying 33% of women still would not know where or how to seek support.
Avon, its partners and myself included are calling on you, the public to act now to wipe out these worrying statistics and pledge support of the cause by sharing the twitter handle #SeeTheSigns
and to speak out if you know someone is suffering at the hands of a partner.
If you want to know more, support the cause via Twitter with the hashtag #SeeTheSigns please visit www.refuge.org.uk or www.womensaid.org.uk and share this post with your friends, family, colleagues and network.
#SeeTheSigns and act now!
If you are experiencing domestic violence and you are in immediate danger call 999; or call the Freephone 24 hour National Domestic Violence Helpline, run by Refuge and Women’s Aid, 0808 2000 247.
Remember you are not alone and there is support available.