ANGUS Violence against Women Partnership (AVAWP) is to highlight the plight of women who experience domestic abuse during the annual 16 Days of Action campaign, which started on Sunday and runs until International Human Rights Day on December 10.
The partnership draws together representatives from Tayside Police, NHS Tayside, Angus Council, Barnardos, Angus Women’s Aid Respect and Equality (AWARE) and voluntary groups which work to eliminate all forms of violence against women.
The 16 days of action included White Ribbon Day on Sunday - the largest effort in the world of men working to end male violence against women. Each year, the campaign urges men and boys to wear a white ribbon for one week as a personal pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent (www.whiteribbonscotland.org.uk/).
In Angus, the campaign will this year see the launch of a new credit card sized domestic violence and abuse information leaflet, which provides useful information for women about how to deal with or escape from an abusive relationship.
A special information card for taxi drivers was also launched in Forfar on Tuesday and has been given to all taxi drivers in Angus who sometimes encounter victims leaving an abusive relationship.
Mitchell Murray, chairman of the Forfar and Kirriemuir Taxi Operators Association said: “It is not unknown for taxi drivers to have to collect women and children who are fleeing domestic abuse and we want to be sure we are doing our very best to help people in these traumatic situations.
“The cards will be very useful for our drivers and I would encourage them to carry one with them along with some of the information leaflets for women.”
Dr Julia Egan, chair of AVAWP commented: “Each year in Angus, the police deal with around 1,100 incidents of domestic abuse and unfortunately, a good many more incidents are never reported by the women involved due to fear, or misplaced feelings of shame that somehow another person’s violence is ‘their fault’.
“There are many ways we can help women experiencing domestic violence and no-one should suffer in silence. Taxi drivers really can make a big difference and these cards provide some basic information about what they should or should not do if they encounter a woman who has experienced domestic abuse.”
She added: “I also applaud the White Ribbon Campaign which is a good way for men and boys to become involved and help prevent male violence against women and so protect women just like their own mothers, sisters, friends, daughters or partners. They can make it clear that there is no place in our society for violence against women, and it is completely unacceptable.”
Dr Robert Peat, chair of the Community Care and Health Partnership added: “Often, children suffer too as they can frequently be witnesses to violence against their mother. This is hugely damaging to the children, and we want to do everything possible to prevent them living with violence.”