Safer Merton – a partnership made up of Merton Council, the police and other agencies – is highlighting its work to end domestic violence, and the services it provides to protect victims, during the 16 days of Activism Against Gender Violence between 25 November and 10 December.
At least one in four women experience domestic violence, and at least half of those who suffer domestic abuse never report it. Domestic abuse can be mental, emotional or financial as well as physical. Anyone can be a victim irrespective of their ethnic origin, religion, sexuality or lifestyle. Domestic abuse can take place in a range of relationships where the adult victim is in a close personal relationship with the person who harms them – this could be their partner, husband, parents, children or siblings.
The programme of events is kicked off by celebrating the UN International Day Against Violence Against Women, also known as the White Ribbon Day, on Tuesday 25 November. Wearing a white ribbon shows a commitment to never commit, condone or stay silent about domestic violence.
Merton Council’s cabinet member for community safety and engagement Tariq Ahmad said: “I want to encourage as many people as possible to wear a white ribbon this year and support the campaign to eradicate domestic violence.
“Far too many people suffer in silence because of domestic abuse. We are determined to put the needs of our residents first by committing ourselves to protecting the most vulnerable members of our society. I would encourage anyone who has suffered domestic abuse to come forward and report their abusers to the police, who can take action to end victims’ suffering.”