Newham

Candlelight vigil in solidarity with domestic abuse victims

18 December 2017 in 2012 Games and legacy
candlelight vigil to remember the victims of domestic violence has been held at NewVIc Sixth Form in Plaistow.
People affected by domestic abuse, agencies that support victims, and local councillors joined the 100 students who attended the event on Wednesday December 13. The event was organised to raise awareness about domestic violence and what can be done to combat it.

Councillor Lakmini Shah, the cabinet member for Work and Skills and Domestic Violence, led the one minute silence to remember those who have lost their lives as a result of  violence in the home. Attendees also heard from a victim of domestic violence who talked about her experiences.

Senior Safeguarding Governance Officer from Newham Council Tony Pape, highlighted why it was important to report a safeguarding concern to the students. NewVIc principal  Eddie Playfair  spoke about the need to keep raising awareness of domestic and sexual violence  to the younger generation.

The vigil was part of the United Nations 16 Days of Activism which aims to raise awareness of violence against women and girls.

During the 16 day campaign, Newham residents have been sharing pictures of themselves on social media and pledging never to condone, commit or stay silent about violence against others, and urging others to make the same promise.

In Newham three out of four victims of domestic violence, and nine out of ten victims of sexual assault, are women. In 2016/2017 there have been 3,230 domestic abuse offences recorded by the Metropolitan Police in the borough.

Newham commissions a range of Domestic and Sexual Violence Services including:

  • An Independent Domestic and Sexual Violence Advocacy (IDSVA) Service for victims with medium to high risks support needs, provided by the Nia Project
  • A DSV caseworker service for victims with low to medium risk  provided by Aanchal Women’s Aid 
  • A female genital mutilation (FGM) support service – provided by Manor Gardens Trust
  • Open Doors, a support service for those exiting sex work. 
These services are co-located at the borough One Stop Shop.

Councillor Shah said: “This year’s 16 Days of Activism highlighted that in Newham, residents came together to make their voices heard and to support and stand against all forms of violence against women and girls.

“It was encouraging to see so many young people taking part in the candlelit vigil to remember the victims who lost their lives due to domestic violence. It has been great to see hundreds of people participating in events held across the borough to support the ‘Orange the World’ United Nations campaign.”

The One Stop Shop can be contacted on 0845 451 2547 and any member of the public wanting more information on the services available to victims of domestic or sexual violence can visit www.newham.gov.uk/dsv