St Albans Clock Tower will light up on Thursday 25 November to mark the UK’s White Ribbon Day and the start of a global campaign; the United Nations 16 Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women.
St Albans Business Improvement District (BID), St Albans Museums, and the Domestic Abuse (DA) Alliance have joined forces to demonstrate their shared commitment to tackling domestic abuse in the city.
A White Ribbon will be projected onto St Albans’ Clock Tower between 16:30 and 22:00 to send a clear message that violence against women and girls must end.
“We are proud to be an accredited supporter of White Ribbon UK and we are asking people in their communities, organisations and workplaces to come together and say ‘no’ to violence against women, on 25 November and every day”, said Razi Hassan, Director of Communication and Partnerships, DA Alliance.
“As well as displaying a White Ribbon on the Clock Tower, which is a focal point in the city, we are projecting a series of very poignant portraits drawn by artist Holly Ringrose”, Hassan continued.
“Holly has created unfinished portraits of women who have been killed by their partners, drawing each woman for one minute for every year of their life. The unfinished portraits represent the lives that were tragically cut short by abuse. A permanent display of Holly’s portraits will be installed in our office to remind colleagues how vital the support we provide is to those experiencing domestic abuse”, added Hassan.
“I was inspired by the work of U.S. artist Adrian Brandon, who created a series of unfinished portraits of Black people killed by police in a project called “Stolen” that attracted global attention last year following the death of George Floyd”, said artist Holly Ringrose.
“I want to show that it can happen to anyone – it doesn’t matter how old you are, where you come from, your race, ethnicity or economic background. Domestic abuse is still quite taboo. People think it’s none of their business, but girls and women are losing their lives. We need to speak about it. People forget that domestic abuse is also a pandemic. The first lockdown was catastrophic for so many women. I hope the drawings will make people more aware of what goes on behind closed doors and encourage them to help those who may be experiencing abuse.”
A spokesperson for White Ribbon UK said: “In March 2021, the murder of Sarah Everard brought women’s experience of men’s violence to the forefront of everyone’s minds. #AllMenCan is our leading message this year. It has opened up so many conversations about men taking action and making a stand. As we move towards the end of the year we want as many men as possible to think carefully and make the White Ribbon Promise to never commit, excuse or remain silent about male violence against women.”
Please join the conversation and say “no” to violence against women using the hashtags #WhiteRibbon, #AllMenCan, #MakeThePromise and #SayNoToDomesticSilence
Pictured: This is Giselle Marmon-Herrera (age 37) and her daughter Allison (age 15). Giselle was strangled to death by her partner who then raped and strangled Allison to death, before committing a final act of control and killing himself. Giselle’s sister had said that Giselle wanted to end the relationship due to being controlled. Giselle and Allison’s family describe their loss as devastating and they appeal to anyone at risk of domestic abuse to seek help.
Violence against women and girls – the facts
- In the year ending March 2019, 1.6 million women experienced domestic abuse
Office for National Statistics (2019) Domestic abuse victim characteristics, England and Wales: year ending March 2019
- Almost one in three women aged 16-59 will experience domestic abuse in her lifetime
Office for National Statistics (2019) Domestic abuse in England and Wales overview: November 2019
- Two women a week are killed by a current or former partner in England and Wales alone
Office for National Statistics (2019) Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2018 (average taken over 10 years)
- 20% of children in the UK have lived with an adult perpetrating domestic abuse
NSPCC (2011) Child abuse and neglect in the UK today; Research into the prevalence of child maltreatment in the United Kingdom
- 41% of UK girls aged 14 to 17 in an intimate relationship experienced some form of sexual violence from their partner
University of Central Lancashire (2015) Written submission from the Connect Centre for International Research on Interpersonal Violence and Harm
- 41% of men aged 18–24 say a woman is totally or partly to blame for her sexual assault if she goes out late at night, wears a short skirt and gets drunk
The Fawcett Society (2017), Sounds Familiar?
- In the year ending March 2018, nine times more women than men were killed by their partner or ex-partner
Office for National Statistics (2019) Homicide in England and Wales: year ending March 2018
- Tackling domestic abuse is not just a moral imperative. £1.3 billion was spent on dealing with domestic abuse in England and Wales in 2016/17. Lost economic output and reduced productivity resulting from domestic abuse cost the country £14 billion. This is in addition to the nearly £50 billion the Home Office estimated as the cost of physical and emotional harm.
The economic and social costs of domestic abuse research report, The Home Office, January 2019
- UK business loses £316m in economic output each year as result of absences related to domestic abuse. In addition, due to the impact on career progression, the potential loss of earnings per female victim of abuse is £5,800 each year.
The workplace impacts of domestic violence and abuse – report by KPMG for Vodafone, July 2019
Caseworker Charlotte shares a typical day at the DA Alliance and what attracted her to the role.
“Every morning I start by calling our clients [victims of domestic abuse] to take witness statements and complete their court documents. This paperwork is then passed to our legal partners (solicitors) for ongoing case management. I also provide support to victims who are representing themselves – they may have questions court papers and the court process, which we can help to answer. My day also includes coffee breaks and laughter with my colleagues. It’s so important to support each other, particularly when you’re in this area of work, so we can all perform to the best of our abilities.
“I was attracted to this role as I have a professional interest in Family Law and wish to pursue a career as a solicitor in this sector. The dissertation I completed for my law degree was about the remedies for domestic abuse so working at the DA Alliance has been ideal in terms of developing my interest and experience in this field.
“I bring a broad range of experience within the legal industry to my role. I have completed an LLB law degree and am currently carrying out my LPC. I have worked for St Alban’s Citizen’s Advice Bureau as an online web advisor and as an advisor for the Hertfordshire Law Clinic. I have also worked as a legal assistant for Reigate and Banstead Borough Council. While I was there I visited a refuge for domestic abuse victims, which first sparked my interest in this area of law.
“The most rewarding aspect of my role is knowing I’ve done my best to provide support to those who need it the most. Receiving that acknowledgment from my clients makes it all worthwhile, and is testament to the invaluable service we provide here.
“The greatest challenge I have faced is telling clients that their case does not have strong enough ‘merits’ to proceed with an application for a court order. However, we can suggest alternative protective measures, which will provide some support.
“I would advise anyone with an interest in the law and domestic abuse support to consider applying for a role at the DA Alliance. Above all, be confident, be yourself, and be prepared to deal with difficult scenarios. Take every day as it comes.”
As the darker, colder nights draw in most people spend more time indoors.
The run up to Christmas can also bring financial strains, and more time spent with family and at social events may lead to increased stress.
For those experiencing domestic abuse these factors can mean more time trapped at home, and an increased risk of abuse occurring.
In England and Wales, there are approximately 2.3 million victims of domestic abuse a year (two-thirds of whom are women).
The actual number of people affected by this often-hidden crime, is likely to be much higher.
As Halloween approaches we are sharing these dramatic images to raise awareness that domestic abuse is happening all around us and it must stop.
Show your support and #SayNoToDomesticSilence by sharing, liking, and commenting on social media.
6 October 2021
Strengthening partnerships, engaging survivors and adopting technology, have led to falling victim attrition rates and increased take up of support by those experiencing domestic abuse in Hertfordshire. In this exclusive case study for Policing Insight, DA Alliance Director of Partnership and Communication, Razi Hassan, shares the success of our WEPROTECT app, which is in use by Hertfordshire Constabulary and the locally-commissioned IDVA service, run by Herts-Refuge.
Click here to read the full article (you may need to register for free to access this content).