Newham Council is highlighting gender-based violence with a 16-day United Nations-backed campaign – starting on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls on 25 November – after a year marred by tragic incidents.
The campaign happens annually but is particularly poignant this year, coming after the tragic death of Sarah Everard, of South London, and the horrific murders of Henriett Szucs and Mihrican Mustafa last year.
More than two weeks of activism will take place, running through till Human Rights Day on 10 December, with the Council embracing the United Nations’ campaign to “Orange the world: End violence against women now!”
Newham Mayor Rokhsana Fiaz, OBE, said: “Newham Council is doing all it can to highlight the issue of violence against women and our response to combat it as part of the 16-day United Nations-backed campaign.
“Too often the appalling consequences of violence against women and girls are felt, and the devastation they leave in their wake. We again remember the tragic deaths of Sarah Everard, Sabina Nessa, sisters Nicole Smallman and Bibaa Henry, and closer to home Henriett Szucs and Mihrican Mustafa who died as a result of male violence against women and the failure of our society’s institutions to take it seriously.
“We must continue to act together and send a message of zero tolerance of violence against women and girls and show our determination to eliminate the dangers they face every day. We know that many women and girls suffer in silence and that domestic abuse can take many different forms – physical, psychological, sexual and emotional.
“It is essential the Council and members of the public are vigilant to the signs of it, so those threatened can get the help they need in time.
“We need action from the Government in holding social media companies to account when it comes to the violent and unrelenting hate spewed by men hiding under anonymity online.
“I know many female councillors have suffered abuse and trolling by men hiding behind insufficiently regulated social media accounts and websites, an awful feature of public life.
“No woman is immune – and I myself have been the subject of male-driven violence, hate speech and trolling online. It is part of the spectrum of violence that is a feature in the daily lives of women and girls and we must remain committed to challenging it wherever it comes from.
“So over the next 16 days and beyond, I encourage all Newham residents to share their photos and actions on social media, pledging to ‘Never commit, excuse or remain silent about violence against women’– using hashtag #NoExcuseForAbuse.”
This Thursday (25 November), on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and Girls, and throughout the campaign, white ribbons will be worn at the Council to signify opposition to violence against women and girls – and the Council’s Dockside offices will be lit up in orange – chiming with the UN’s global theme.
Anyone experiencing domestic or sexual violence should phone 0808 196 1482 or visit www.newham.gov.uk/dsv for information on the range of support services available.