Some of Liverpool’s best known buildings will glow orange tomorrow to mark the start of of a UN campaign to break down the wall of silence surrounding domestic violence.
Friday November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and the city council is getting involved in a two week awareness drive to show how people can support friends and relatives by helping them to speak out.
The rise of the internet and social media means abusers have developed new ways to intimidate and silence their victims
Orange is the official colour of the campaign, symbolising a brighter future free from violence against women and girls, and several buildings will be lit in solidarity between 5pm-7pm.
As well as the lighting up of venues such as the Cunard Building, Radio City Tower, Liverpool Town Hall, Everyman Theatre, FACT, the Bluecoat and Merseyside Police’s HQ – Liverpool city centre pavements will also contain hidden messages’ to illustrate the hidden problem of silence. They appear when water, i.e. rain - is applied.
According to the United Nations, two women are killed each week from domestic violence and one in nine women in the UK annually suffer.
Its UNiTE campaign which begins on 25 November ends after 16 days of action on December 10, Human Rights Day, celebrating the signing of the U.N. charter in 1948.
Last year, as part of the initiative hundreds of activities took place in over 90 countries, and 177,000 tweets and Instagram posts with the hashtag #orangetheworld from 84,500 different users reached 311 million unique Twitter and Instagram users across the world. This year people are asked to also use the hashtag #endvaw along with #orangethweorld and #16days.
People in Liverpool are also encourage to wear an item of orange clothing throughout the campaign and show their support via social media.
Liverpool DJ Ellie Phillips will help launch the campaign on Friday morning at 10.30am by revealing the first hidden message in Derby Square – in the shadow of the city’s Law Courts.
Councillor Emily Spurrell, Liverpool City Council’s Mayoral Lead for Safety and Chair of City Safe, said: ‘’Sadly violence against women and girls is an issue that even in this day and age needs tackling. Abuse comes in many forms and with the rise of the internet and social media means abusers have developed new ways to intimidate and silence their victims.
‘’Friends and relatives of victims have a huge role to play in spotting signs and offering to listen. Often it is the first step in speaking out which is the hardest, and as one our pavement messages says – abusers love the sound of silence."