Liverpool Landmarks to turn Orange for Anti-Violence Campaign

Some of Liverpool’s most iconic buildings will glow orange tomorrow, in support of a U.N. campaign to break down the wall of silence surrounding domestic violence.

Tomorrow (Friday 25th November) is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the city is showing its support with a two week long campaign to raise awareness about how people can support friends and relatives by helping them to speak out.

Orange is the official colour of the UNiTE campaign, symbolizing a brighter future free from violence against women and girls, and several buildings will be lit in solidarity between 5pm-7pm.

As well as the lighting up of venues such as the Cunard Building, Radio City Tower, Liverpool Town Hall, Everyman Theatre, FACT, the Bluecoat and Merseyside Police’s HQ – Liverpool city centre will also host a series of ‘invisible pavement messages’ to illustrate the hidden problem of silence.

  • Liverpool DJ and Presenter Ellie Phillips, who last year publically spoke out about her own experiences, will help launch the campaign on Friday morning at 10.30am by revealing the first hidden message in Derby Square – in the shadow of the city’s Law Courts. (The messages appear when water – rain – is applied).

Radio adverts will also be aired as part of Liverpool’s awareness campaign, funded by Liverpool’s City Safe partnership, to promote the website: www.womensaid.org.uk which acts as a one stop shop in providing information and details for support and advice for those suffering domestic violence.

According to the United Nations, 1 in 9 women in the UK annually suffer from domestic violence and two are killed each week.

The U.N. has called on international support for their UNiTE campaign which begins on 25 November and ends after 16 days of action on December 10, Human Rights Day, celebrating the signing of the famous U.N. charter in 1948.

Last year, as part of the initiative hundreds of activities took place in over 90 countries, and 177,000 tweets and Instagram posts with the hashtag #orangetheworld from 84,500 different users reached 311 million unique Twitter and Instagram users across the world.  This year people are asked to also use the hashtag #endvaw along with #orangethweorld and #16days.

People in Liverpool are also encourage to wear an item of orange clothing throughout the campaign and show their support via social media.

Councillor Emily Spurrell, Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Safety and Chair of City Safe, said: ‘’Sadly violence against women and girls is an issue that even in this day and age needs tackling. Abuse comes in many forms and with the rise of the internet and social media means abusers have developed new ways to intimidate and silence their victims.

‘’Friends and relatives of victims have a huge role to play in spotting signs and offering to listen. Often it is the first step in speaking out which is the hardest, and as one our pavement messages says – abusers love the sound of silence.

‘’I’m delighted we have such iconic landmarks turning orange on Friday evening to showcase Liverpool ‘s support but even if people wear an item of orange clothing over the 16 days and share that on social media, that small gesture would be greatly appreciated. By raising awareness and providing the tools to educate people hopefully we can break down these walls and save lives.’’

Liverpool’s campaign champion Ellie Phillips said: “I’m supporting the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women because it’s a human rights violation that is far too often swept under the rug or completely silenced.

‘’There are so many women who are trapped in situations where they feel unable to speak out, so I think that it’s therefore vital that those who can speak out, do so.

“I think it’s extremely important that we educate women and girls of all ages to understand the warning signs of violent behaviour, so that they are able to spot the red flags early on.

‘’Furthermore, it’s important that we teach both young men and women about acceptable and unacceptable behaviours. Education about violence against women in all its forms, isn’t just a school’s responsibility, a parent’s responsibility or a charity’s responsibility – it’s everyone’s responsibility.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “It is completely unacceptable that violence remains a part of daily life for some women and girls, either in the community or in their own homes.

“Today we are taking a stand against abuse to make it clear it will not be tolerated. By wearing orange and lighting up some of Merseyside’s most iconic buildings in this vibrant colour, we are sending out a clear, visible message that we are supporting the UNiTE campaign for a brighter future for women and girls, free from violence and abuse.

“I hope that some of those women who do feel frightened and trapped realise they don’t need to suffer in silence and that there are lots of people and organisations who will help them if they need it. Merseyside Police is one of those organisations and I’m proud that headquarters will be glowing orange today to let all victims know that the police are on hand to help you to get the care and protection you need if you are escaping an abusive or violent situation.”

 

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