From left to right: Clare Copping, Sue Warriner, Lisa Barrett and Suzanne Plamping

Campaign groups Soroptimist International and Nottinghamshire Women’s Institute came together to launch 16 days of activism.

Soroptimist International is a global volunteer movement that advocates for human rights and gender equality, whilst helping women and girls who are involved in domestic abuse.

November 25 saw the start of 16 days of activism for the UN Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women which ends on December 11.

Soroptimist partnered with the Playhouse and Nottinghamshire Federation of Women’s Institute to bring together several support groups to mark the day and create relationships with other organisations on the same path to eliminating gender-based violence.

The event used art, poetry, and singing as a vehicle of activism for the day, to show solidarity with those women affected by violence from male perpetrators.

Lisa Barret, an organiser within the Soroptimist charity, said: “This event builds on the success of an event from last year, where Soroptimists were outside the council house handing out the orange pins to the general public.”

“We thought that there could be more awareness gained by involving the artistic sector”

Margaret Oldroyd, secretary of Nottingham soroptimist

“This was to basically raise awareness in Nottingham and start a conversation with people about the importance of the day not just locally but nationally.”

Margaret Oldroyd, secretary of Nottingham Soroptimist International, said: “Last year was a massive success, we reached 400 to 500 people off the top of my head.”

“We even had two people reach out from the event, as victims of domestic abuse who wanted our help”.

Nottingham Soroptimist secretary added that this year they took a different approach for the event, as opposed to last year’s which was held in Market Square and was more targeted at members of the public.

Attendees at the Playhouse held up the names of the women who have died from domestic violence this year

“This year was more multi-faceted, we thought that there could be more awareness gained by involving the artistic sector, it was partly about marking the day, but it was also about trying to forge relationships with other groups around Nottingham that can help.”

One of Nottingham’s councillors, Nicola Heaton, was at the event in a show of support for the cause and Lord Mayor councillor Wendy Smith was also in attendance.

“Although we didn’t reach as many people in terms of numbers as last year, this time was all about the movers and shakers who can go out and do more for the city as well as making change happen.”

Nottinghamshire Federations of Women’s institute helped by creating a visual display with over 900 orange knitted flowers that covered the outside of the Playhouse.

The WI read out some statistics to those that attended, stating that so far this year 85 women have been killed by men in the UK as well as every minute two incidents of Domestic Violence are being reported to the police.

A two-minute silence was held to remember the women that have been killed by male perpetrators this year, with every member in attendance at the event holding up the name of a female that has passed.

  • Between 7,000 and 10,000 children in Nottingham are at risk from domestic abuse. This means at least three in every class of 30 children.
  • So far this year, 85 women have been killed by men in the UK.
  • Every minute two incidents of Domestic Violence are reported to the police.
  • two to four women per week on average are killed by a male partner or ex-partner.

If you need support or advice regarding domestic violence click the link below to find out how Soroptimist can help you.