SOROPTIMISTS RAILING AGAINST ABUSE
Local women raise awareness of domestic abuse
There are many United Nations special days each year, but the one that matters to Soroptimist International of Weston-super-Mare (SI Weston) is 25th November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, when the theme is ORANGE.
On this day, for the past three years, supported by Tara Newley Arkle and Soroptimists of the South West Region, the women of SI Weston have drawn attention to domestic abuse. We dress in orange and hand out ‘Loves me, Loves me not’ bookmarks. These bookmarks include a checklist to help young people understand that they do not have to tolerate persistent abuse or controlling behaviour in a relationship. They are already in use by many North Somerset schools.
Last year we were joined at the Lord Mayor’s chapel in Bristol by Dame Joan Collins, who spoke movingly about her own experiences.
This year, 2018, we are planning an event in Weston-super-Mare itself, in order to support Gemini services, an organisation responsible for the women’s refuge and other assistance for domestic abuse survivors in and around the town.
Once again we shall be getting support from other Soroptimist clubs in the region, whose members will be arriving at Weston railway station. We will all walk through Weston, along the High Street, distributing bookmarks. When we reach Grove Park we will attach orange bows to the railings around the fountain. Each bow represents one of the women killed by their partners over the previous year. We will then move to the flower bed in the park that commemorates women who have been killed by their partners, where a stunning new sculpture will be unveiled.
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