On Sunday 27 November members of the Club stood alongside members of the Mothers’ Union, Diocese of Salisbury as part of the UN’s annual #Orangetheworld 16 Days of Activism on Violence Against Women. United by a common desire to see an end to violence against women – they were there to raise awareness of domestic abuse and the many other manifestations of violence against women and girls.
There was a lot of interest from Festive Market goers; young visitors were particularly keen on the orange and purple balloons handed out and the fresh fruit handed out to both adults and children were ice breakers to a series of conversations about domestic abuse and what we can all do to spot it in relationships and to stop it.
“We are particularly grateful to local fruit sellers Central Fruits and Simply Fruit who supported us with fresh fruit”, said Liz Batten, Orange the World stall organiser, “and we are grateful to everyone who stopped to have a chat and find out more about how they could help – often bringing examples of relationships they had concerns about. We hoped it has helped to raise awareness locally.”
The Mothers’ Union campaign Logo “No more 1 in 3” in black & purple is a vivid reminder of mental and physical damage and bruising victims experience. The Soroptimists use orange, as used by the UN. The colour orange symbolises a brighter future, free of violence. It serves as a means of demonstrating our solidarity in eliminating all forms of violence and it is used as the colour of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. Whether orange or purple, the sentiments and messages of the two organisations are the same: “There is no room for violence against women anywhere in our world!”
The stall was themed by both organisations to ‘signpost’ the signs of abuse aiming to raise awareness. Domestic abuse affects people throughout society and at every stage of life. Many women don’t speak out due to fear or feeling ashamed, thinking it is their fault. The myths about domestic abuse need to be dispelled and sexist attitudes to women’s and men’s roles challenged. It is easy to miss the signs of a coercive, abusive relationship or to ask for help. Members of both organisations gave out information about Domestic Abuse and the support services that are available locally to help at times of crisis.