St Albans lights up to say “No” to violence against women

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