Days of Action in Luton to highlight risks of gender-based violence

In the UK a woman is killed by a man every three days

Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 4:27 pm
Updated Tuesday, 23rd November 2021, 4:28 pm

Bedfordshire campaigners are taking part in an international 16 Days of Action against gender-based violence with a #TooManyNames event being held in Luton on Friday.

The campaign runs every year from November 25 , the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, to December 10, Human Rights Day. Every year community and voluntary groups across Bedfordshire join the global campaign to raise awareness of, and help bring an end to, all forms of gender violence.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the global 16 Days Campaign.

Supporters will join together on November 26 in the Luton town centre

The use of violence against women is considered both a cause and a consequence of inequality between men and women in today’s society and costs the lives of women and girls every day across the world. In the UK alone, on average, a woman is killed by a man every three days.

Every year community and voluntary groups across Bedfordshire join the campaign to raise awareness of gender-based violence and domestic abuse in any and all of its forms.

The campaign’s theme this year is “from awareness to accountability” and in this 30th anniversary year the global campaign will aim to concentrate attention on the issue of femicide; the killing of a woman or girl, in particular by a man and on account of her gender.

Across Bedfordshire there will be a range of activities and events happening to raise awareness of the devastating impact that all forms of gender-based violence (GBV) have on all of us; whether it’s a friend, family member or colleague at work, with 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men experiencing some form of domestic abuse during their lifetime; we will all know someone affected.

A spokesperson said: "With everything from our #TooManyNames community event to highlight the number of women who have lost their lives as a result of male violence, to the launch of our joint High Sheriff of Bedfordshire and BDAP annual recognition awards scheme for those working with individuals and families affected by domestic abuse. We will also be relaunching the BDAP (Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership) Safe Spaces scheme, which promotes that certain places in our local communities can offer a safe space for someone who needs to access support with an unhealthy or abusive relationship.

"Our group of supporters will join together on November 26 in the Luton town centre with the aim of raising awareness and highlighting the issue of violence against women and girls. Our aim is to have one #TooManyNames supporter representing each woman whose life has been lost as a result of male violence. Between the start of October 2020 and end of September 2021 there have been more than 130 women murdered by men.

"All are welcome to join us for this community event which will commence around 10:30am and will be timed to end at 11am. The event will be followed by the observance of a minute of silence marked by Luton Town Hall clock.

Supporters will gather at the end of George Street in Luton adjacent to the Crown Court on the raised pedestrianised area. The event will be introduced by Caroline Cook, CEO at Luton All Women’s Centre.

There will also be information about local and national support available on the day for anyone affected by gender violence issues.

The spokesperson said: "We want to send a strong and clear message that addressing gender violence is everyone’s business and that no one individual or organisation can tackle the issue alone".

The Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership and the High Sheriff of Bedfordshire is launching their annual Domestic Abuse Recognition Awards scheme during the Days of Action .

The awards, which were originally launched during the first COVID lockdown in 2020, aim to recognise the amazing contributions made by the many organisations, teams and individuals working with, or for those affected by any aspect of domestic abuse, across Bedfordshire.

Nominees could be an individual, a team or a whole service. They could be a professional or a volunteer working hard to support families and children affected by domestic abuse or they could be a service or a project team making a difference to their service users every day. Maybe they challenge people to change their abusive behaviours or empower survivors to cope and recover from what has happened to them. Nominees may never think about the impact that their actions and words have had or the difference they have made to the people they have supported.

The deadline for nominations is December 31, 2021 and chosen nominees (of any age, gender or background) will be announced in the New Year.

Anyone can make a nomination. All nominations should be sent, by 31 December 2021 to: [email protected]Nominations should include the name and contact details of the person making the nomination as well as full name and a contact telephone number or email for the person or team they are nominating. We also need to know the reason for the nomination; this should include what it is that they do that makes such a difference and why they deserve to be recognised for their work.

You can follow the 16 days campaign online @bedsdv and keep your eyes on social and other media for more news and information. To find out more about what’s happening near you go to the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership website at www.bedsdv.org.uk or follow @bedsdv on social media and look out for tags #BDAP #16daysofaction #TooManyNames