Today (Friday 25th November), Savera UK and Zonta Club London (part of Zonta International) will march through Liverpool city centre to raise awareness of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and other forms of gender-based violence.
The march marks the start of the annual global Orange the World campaign and start of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism against gender-based violence, which takes place between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls on 25th November and Human Rights Day on 10th December.
There will be speeches from Savera UK CEO and Founder, Afrah Qassim, Dianne Jeans from Zonta Club London, Merseyside PCC, Emily Spurrell and survivor stories from 4pm, after which the group will march through Liverpool city centre.
The march will be accompanied by Movema’s Sankofa Bird, representing belonging and freedom, and will end in Derby Square to join the “Liverpool’s Lost Women” vigil, led by Liverpool Domestic Abuse Service, RASA Merseyside and Amadudu.
Several civic buildings and landmarks will also illuminate orange in solidarity with the campaign, including Liverpool Town Hall, the Cunard Building, St George’s Hall, World Museum in Liverpool, Greystone Footbridge in Knowsley, the Mersey Gateway Bridge in Halton, Merseyside Police Headquarters and Wallasey Town Hall in Wirral.
The annual awareness day is even more poignant for the city region this year, as it is also the first anniversary of the deaths of two victims of male violence – Ava White and Malak ‘Katy’ Adabzadeh.
Savera UK CEO and Founder, Afrah Qassim, said: “Gender-based violence and abuse, including the specific issue of ‘honour’-based abuse (HBA) and harmful practices that we as an organisation tackle, must be stopped.
“We will march through Liverpool in memory of the 5,000 people who die globally each year due to HBA and in protest against these practices, which amount to nothing more than abuse of human rights. We hope people will join us and support our mission to eradicate HBA and harmful practices for good.”
Speaking of the illumination of Greystone Footbridge in Knowsley, Cllr Shelley Powell, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Neighbourhoods, said: “Sadly, domestic abuse is an issue that affects people across the UK, and Knowsley is no exception. Not only does it have a major impact upon those directly affected, it also negatively affects families and the wider community.
“Earlier this year we launched our Domestic Abuse strategy which outlines how we support victims and children if they experience domestic abuse and sets out how partners will work together to stop the cycle of abuse.
“Supporting International Day of the Prevention of Violence Against Women is a key date in our calendar and illuminating the Greystone Footbridge is a sign of our support. We will continue to ensure our residents know that help really is just a phone call away – please seek help and don’t suffer in silence.”
Savera UK’s campaign will continue throughout November and December, with the charity inviting people to do a #5KForTheFiveThousand and help raise awareness and funds to help it continue its work campaigning, educating, and advocating for and supporting survivors. You can register to join the fundraising campaign here.
Savera UK and Zonta Club London’s “Orange the World” toolkit, which contains information, resources and ideas for speaking out against gender-based violence and abuse, can also be found here.
If you are at risk of ‘honour’-based abuse or other harmful practices, call Savera UK’s national helpline on 0800 107 0726 (operates Monday – Friday 10am – 4pm).