Tag: Emily Spurrell

Savera UK Youth #ENDFGM Exhibition 2022

Savera UK Youth exhibition calls for end to female genital mutilation (FGM)

Savera UK Youth #ENDFGM Exhibition 2022

An exhibition of multimedia artworks created by a group of young people campaigning to eradicate the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM), has opened in Liverpool to mark the International Day of Zero Tolerance for FGM (6th February).

Savera UK Youth created artwork and photography to commemorate the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which was first launched at a conference in London held by the National FGM Centre. After speaking with survivors of female genital mutilation and learning more about the practice from Savera UK, the young people then worked with artist Joanne Tremarco and photographer Andrew ‘AB’ Abrahamson to learn valuable image-making and photography skills through a series of workshops.

In these workshops the young people learned how to translate what they had heard into powerful imagery, through sessions with Joanne making collage, assemblage and animation. Then, using the practical skills and knowledge about the rules of photography shared by AB, they took disposable cameras away to interpret their understanding of FGM through photography.  These photographs, which can be seen on display as a stand alone series, approach the subject matter from a more abstract and emotional point of view,  informing the staged SLR photographs that carry a more explicit #EndFGM message.

Following further workshops with artist Joanne and survivor Kiara Mohamed, who is a poet, the young people created poems, song and text related to FGM, in response to what they had learned from the survivor stories and from Savera UK. The young people also learned important skills about showcasing their work, such as how to hang an exhibition and how to write about their artwork to communicate its meaning as well as skills in performance and presentation.

The works seek to educate people about FGM and challenge harmful traditions that violate human rights, while separating it from culture and religious practice, with which is it often wrongly conflated.

The exhibition will run from Friday 4th – Sunday 27th February 2022, in the ‘Make Space’ exhibition space at the International Slavery Museum, located on the 3rd Floor.

Hannah Gloudon from Savera UK Youth, said: “We are so excited to finally be exhibiting our work, which was originally created in 2019 and was due to be exhibited in 2020.

“The pandemic saw schools close and leave many vulnerable young people at risk of FGM. Last year, UNICEF stated that 2 million additional cases of female genital mutilation likely to occur over next decade due to COVID-19*

“It has never been more vital for us to speak out against FGM and empower our peers to do the same. Education is key to meeting our aim of being the generation that eradicates harmful practices like FGM and we hope that our #EndFGM exhibition raises awareness and encourages other people to join us in speaking out.”

Lois South, Education Demonstrator at the International Slavery Museum, added: “The work that Savera UK does is so incredibly important, and it is an honour to work with them to highlight and raise awareness about FGM and other harmful practices.

“The art that members of Savera UK Youth have created is beautiful, emotive and  powerful, and we hope that through this exhibition, we can collectively shine a spotlight on what is often a misunderstood subject.

“As a museum, our mission is not only to raise awareness about transatlantic, chattel and other forms of enslavement, but we are also a campaigning museum that actively engages with contemporary human rights issues.

“We hope through this exhibition we can make a difference and educate people about this sensitive yet important issue.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “FGM has no place in today’s society. Not only is it illegal, it’s life-threatening, and it leaves young victims in agony facing long-term physical and psychological challenges.

“Raising awareness of the risks and signs of FGM within our communities, and among key agencies and professionals, is vital if we are to protect girls from harm. I welcome the launch of this innovative exhibition curated by Savera UK Youth which aims to educate people about the impact of FGM and encourages them to speak out.

“While FGM is a deeply sensitive subject, there are no cultural, religious or medical reasons that can ever justify a practice that causes so much suffering. We need everyone to understand FGM is child abuse, it’s illegal and it must be eradicated.”

While FGM and other harmful practices, such as ‘honour’-based abuse and forced marriage remain ‘hidden’ crimes that often go unreported, Merseyside Police saw an increase of almost 56 per cent in reports of ‘honour’-based abuse in 2021.

The force works closely with Savera UK Youth’s parent organisation, Savera UK, a leading charity tackling culturally-specific abuse such as HBA, forced marriage and female genital mutilation (FGM), by providing life-saving support to survivors and those at risk and campaigning to eradicate the practice for good.

Merseyside Police lead for Protecting Vulnerable Persons, Detective Superintendent Steve Reardon, said: “Statistics from Merseyside Police show that in 2021, 54 incidents of ‘honour’-based abuse were reported to the force, which is an increase of 24 on the 12 months to March 2021. Considerably fewer incidents of Forced Marriage and FGM were reported, indicating that under-reporting of ‘honour’-based abuse and other harmful practices remains an issue in the region.

“There are currently 24 FGM Protection Orders in place in Merseyside, protecting 27 girls, and 36 Forced Marriage Protection Orders, protecting 66 people. While these figures provide part of the picture locally, the true number of those at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse is not known due to the hidden nature of these crimes.

“We appeal to anyone who has been a victim of ‘honour’-based abuse to contact police. You will be supported with sensitivity by specialist officers, and we will help you to receive the support of the dedicated team at Savera UK.”

For help and support you can contact the Savera UK helpline on 0800 107 0726 (9am – 5pm, Monday – Friday), you can call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or if you or someone you know is at immediate risk, call 999.

*Source: UNICEF https://www.unicef.org/press-releases/2-million-additional-cases-femalegenital-mutilation-likely-occur-over-next-decade

Liverpool Town Hall will be illuminated orange to raise awareness of gender-based violence

Liverpool City Region landmarks to be lit orange to support global call to end gender-based violence

Liverpool Town Hall will be illuminated orange to raise awareness of gender-based violence
Liverpool Town Hall will be illuminated orange to raise awareness of gender-based violence

Iconic buildings and landmarks across the Liverpool City Region will be illuminated bright orange from this evening (Thursday 25th November), as part of a campaign aimed at ending gender-based violence.

For the second consecutive year, Savera UK has joined forces with Zonta Club London (part of Zonta International) to support the global ‘Orange The World’ campaign.

We are partnering to raise awareness of gender-based violence and abuse in the UK and around the world, through a series of events and initiatives that will take place during the United Nation’s 16 Days of Activism, which run from the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls on 25th November to Human Rights Day on 10th December.

The campaign will begin with the illumination of landmarks in the Liverpool City Region and beyond in memory of all those lost to male violence, but also as a symbol of hope for a brighter future free of fear. Landmarks being illuminated include Liverpool Town Hall, St George’s Hall, Cunard Building, World Museum Liverpool, Merseyside Police Headquarters, Rose Hill and its Canning Place offices, Greystone Footbridge in Knowsley, Mersey Gateway Bridge in Halton and Wallasey Town Hall in Wirral. Everton FC will support the campaign by illuminating Goodison Park in solidarity, while Sefton Council will be “lighting up digitally” on 25th November to mark the start of the 16 days of the campaign. Outside of the city region, the Library of Birmingham will also illuminate in support of the campaign and individuals across the UK are also being invited to light an orange candle or light at home after sunset and place it in a window, as a mark of remembrance and symbol of hope.

Our campaign also features an activism toolkit that will make it easier for people to participate in and engage with the 16 days of activism. The toolkit addresses themes such as allyship, advocacy and knowledge, and includes a bank of resources including social media assets and fact sheets, information about local and national organisations tackling gender-based violence, and events  that people can attend to learn more.

The campaign will culminate in an online panel discussion on Thursday 9th December (4pm – 6pm), Culture is Beautiful: No Excuse for Abuse, which will tackle the harmful ways that culture is wrongly conflated with human rights abuses against women and girls.

Savera UK CEO and founder, Afrah Qassim and Britt Gustawsson of Zonta International will be joined by a panel including Mansi Mehta, Deputy Director, Global Cause Partnerships from UNICEF USA, Dr Elham Manea from Zurich University, a political scientist specialised on the Arab Middle East, Nazir Afzal OBE, former Chief Prosecutor for the North West (UK) and Savera UK patron, and Dr Leyla Hussein OBE, a psychotherapist, specialising in supporting survivors of sexual abuse.

This year’s campaign ‘Orange the World’ campaign is more vital than ever, as violence against women remains devastatingly pervasive in our society. In the 28 weeks following the kidnap and murder of Sarah Everard on 3rd March this year, 81 other women were killed in circumstances where the suspect is a man.

A recently-released government survey also found that 97% of 18–24 year-old women have been sexually harassed, while 80% of all women have been sexually harassed in public.                           

Savera UK CEO and Founder, Afrah Qassim, said: “The statistics about gender-based violence are shocking yet, sadly, no longer surprising. Across their lifetime, 1 in 3 women – around 736 million – will be subjected to physical or sexual violence by an intimate partner or sexual violence from a non-partner. This figure has remained largely unchanged over the last 10 years.

“It has never been more important for people to take action against gender-based violence. Activism takes many forms and even the smallest steps, such as educating yourself about different forms of abuse or identifying yourself as an ally can have an enormous impact. Our Orange the World toolkit provides a starting point for people to enact change.”

Zonta Club London President, Anne-Li Stjernholm, said: “As organisations Savera UK and Zonta Club London are very much aligned on our aim to promote a world without violence against women and girls and this partnership is very valuable for us. We hope it will last for many years to come and that we can expand our reach. Speaking with one voice makes our message so much stronger.”

Merseyside’s Police Commissioner Emily Spurrell said: “We know there are women and girls – relatives, neighbours, friends and colleagues – who are suffering gender-based abuse and violence in our communities every single day.

“Today, and over the next 16 days, we want to make it clear that there is no excuse for abuse. This campaign is about demonstrating our shared commitment to eradicating violence against women and girls.  By lighting up some of Merseyside’s most iconic building in orange, we are sending out a visible message that are determined to create a brighter future for women and girls, free from violence and abuse.

“I would urge any woman or girl who is experiencing abuse to please reach out for help. There are many fantastic organisations on hand to offer care and support across Merseyside, please visit www.victimcaremerseyside.org for more information.”

Merseyside Police ACC, Ngaire Waine, said: “As a society we all need to take a strong stance against attacks on women and girls, who should be empowered to live their lives without fear of sexual objectification, harassment, or physical and mental abuse.

“Alongside our partners we are committed to making the streets, homes and environments across Merseyside safer for women and girls so they can enjoy their lives to the full without fear.

“Merseyside Police will continue to target perpetrators of this abhorrent abuse and we will support and work with women and girls who are subjected to stalking or harassment, violence, domestic abuse, honour-based abuse or any other crimes based on their gender, so we can identify offenders and put them before the courts.”

Mayor of Liverpool Joanne Anderson said: “Women and girls are disproportionately affected by gender-based violence and abuse, and tackling it is a priority. I am proud of the vital work being done by frontline organisations across the city, providing much-needed specialist support to survivors. The Orange the World campaign raises awareness and understanding of the issue and symbolises our city’s commitment to eliminating all forms of violence.”

To find out more about the Orange the World 2021 campaign and download the toolkit, visit: https://www.saverauk.co.uk/orange-the-world-2021/ 

Buildings Illumination Details

Mersey Gateway Bridge – Lighting orange November 25 and December 10

World Museum – Lighting orange November 25 and December 10

Liverpool Town Hall – Lighting orange November 25 to December 10 (except Dec 3)   

St George’s Hall – Lighting orange November 25 to December 10 (except Dec 4)        

Cunard Building – Lighting orange November 25 to December 10 (except Dec 5)        

Goodison Park – Staying illuminated on November 25

Wallasey Town Hall – Lighting orange November 25 to December 10      

Merseyside Police Rose Hill and Canning Place – Lighting orange November 25

Greystone Footbridge – Lighting orange November 25

 

The Library of Birmingham – Lighting orange from November 25