Come Together to End Domestic Abuse

Today, Women’s Aid launches ‘Come Together to End Domestic Abuse’, a two-year campaign ahead of the charity’s 50th birthday in 2024. The campaign aims to show the difference we can make if we all step up together and do what we can to end abuse. As part of the campaign, Women’s Aid will measure public attitudes to show what needs to change, and work together to improve them.

The campaign launch includes a celebrity social media awareness film featuring patron Melanie Brown MBE; ambassadors Toby-Alexander Smith (who played abuser Gray Atkins in EastEnders) Charlie Webster, Rachel Khoo, Michelle Griffith-Robinson, Lucy Gaskell, plus supporters actress Kerry Howard, composer Fabio D’Andrea, influencer and model Phoenix Brown, author Lolo Stubbs,  Mistah Islah from BBC Asian Network, actor Mark Bonnar, musician Simone Butler from Primal Scream, and TV presenter Nadia Essex.

1.6 million women experience domestic abuse every year, and Women’s Aid is asking people to join together and do 5 things to help make a difference: 

1)     Make a change where you are – in your workplace, school, sports club – is there a domestic abuse policy? Is there a poster in the bathroom or in communal spaces on how to get help? Has anyone had domestic abuse training?

2)     Dispel myths about domestic abuse and challenge sexism – domestic abuse doesn’t happen because you provoked the abuser and it isn’t your fault if you are being abused by your partner – sexist attitudes to women’s roles and men’s role must be challenged to end domestic abuse.

3)     Take action, your voice countsjoin campaigns for better protection for survivors or fundraise to enable us to make a change. You can put on an event or take part in a challenge. You can also donate to Women’s Aid or your local domestic abuse charity here.

4)      Learn what to say to someone experiencing abuse – Women’s Aid can help with this and help you understand the reasons why it may not be easy to just leave.

5)     Speak Up – show we are standing up against domestic abuse together. Send us photos and stories about what you are doing in your local area or online to help stop domestic abuse and support survivors. We want to show positive examples of how we can make a difference to encourage others to join with us.

Using the hashtag #EndAbuseTogether, Women’s Aid is asking people to share their actions to show what they are doing, and aim to show collectively the impact people can have.

Dame Julie Walters, Patron of Women’s Aid said:

“I am proud to help launch the Come Together to End Domestic Abuse campaign, because there is not a single campaign or single action that will change what the future looks like. It is what we do together that will really make the changes we need, so that the future looks different for young people entering relationships for the first time. I ask everyone to think: is there something I could do, no matter how big or how small, to help create a world where domestic abuse isn’t tolerated? Look at our suggestions of what people can do, and do tell us about the brilliant things many of you are already doing. As we move towards the anniversary of 50 years of Women’s Aid being a federation in England, and the national heartbeat representing so many local domestic abuse organisations, I hope we can all step up, speak out and be part of the change that we need to see.”

Melanie Brown MBE, Patron of Women’s Aid said:

“Today, as we launch our campaign Come Together to End Domestic Abuse, I want to ask people to step up and think about what they can do to end domestic abuse, and challenge the attitudes that make people think it is acceptable. I know what it is like to experience coercive control, and I can promise you that I will do everything I can on behalf of other survivors who may not be able to safely speak out. I really believe that everyone –teachers, doctors, lawyers, parents, friends and relatives of survivors – has a role to play in ending abuse, whether it is directly helping people, or by stopping the myths and victim-blaming – and you can do that wherever you are.

“Everyone needs to understand what coercive control is. Only since 2015, when the coercive control law was introduced in England and Wales, are we starting to realise how common it is in abusive relationships. For me, talking about my experiences has meant that I no longer feel guilt and shame, but healing and confidence, because I know I can help others.

“Domestic abuse happens across society, which means we have to stand up together and call it out – help survivors now, raise awareness to save lives and raise money where we can. We have to keep these lifesaving services going. I know how much Women’s Aid has helped me, and I will do everything in my power to bring people together on an issue that couldn’t be closer to my heart.”

Home Secretary Priti Patel said:

“Domestic abuse is an inhumane and unacceptable crime that can result in people’s closest and most trusted relationships becoming a frightening existence of torment, pain, fear, and anxiety.

“This campaign has my full support – for far too long the focus has been on what the victim might have done differently, rather than on the behaviour of the perpetrators themselves. Government and society as a whole have a responsibility to be robust in the way that we all tackle this issue and manage abusers. We all have a duty to work together to stop domestic abuse, prevent violence and provide care and support for victims.”

Farah Nazeer, chief executive of Women’s Aid said:

“From my work at Women’s Aid, I know how powerful it can be when we come together to achieve change, which is why I’m proud to launch our new campaign, Come Together to End Domestic Abuse. We all have a responsibility to help end domestic abuse, and we can all make a difference. I encourage everyone to take action and follow our five suggestions to help end domestic abuse. It is up to all of us to help ensure women and children are safe. We cannot stand by and accept a world where three women a fortnight are killed by a partner or ex-partner. We must bring about change, and we must do it now. By coming together and joining forces, we can make a real difference to the lives of women and children, helping to achieve a world where domestic abuse is no longer tolerated.”

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