More than 13 organisations across the Highlands and Islands are jointly campaigning to raise awareness of domestic abuse and sexual violence and how it affects people in our local communities.
Partners include Rape Crisis Centres, Women’s Aid, Police Scotland, and University of the Highlands and Islands.
16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence takes place from 25 November to 10 December every year. For each of the 16 days, partners will be sharing resources and stories online using the hashtags #ChangeHerStory #peediebirds
Zelda Bradley, Service Manager at Orkney Rape & Sexual Assault Service (ORSAS), explained:
“This year, COVID has had devastating impact for many survivors of domestic abuse and sexual violence.
“Our service received the same number of referrals in 6 months that we supported in the whole of last year.
“This joint campaign provides us with an opportunity to generate greater public awareness and understanding of sexual violence across rural and remote areas, particularly our islands. Survivors tell us that they experience high levels of community scrutiny.Silencing victims makes our community less safe.”
White Ribbon Orkney
The White Ribbon Orkney Steering Group had its first meeting onFriday 4 December 2020, the next step in establishing a White Ribbon Scotland Status Project in Orkney. Volunteers from across the County came together to meet with a representative from the WR Charity to understand the process required.
The Steering group comprises of:
Chair: Matt Webb, Police Scotland
Vice Chair:Mr Gerry O’Brien
and representatives from:
- Women’s Aid
- local businesses
- key community representatives
- Category 1 responder
- elected members
- transport providers
Volunteer speakers are sought to join White Ribbon Orkney (WRO) to raise awareness in respect of gender stereotyping, gender inequality, bystander theory and the different forms of violence against women. They do this by holding events which provide an opportunity for education and discussion. Online training will be provided and volunteers can respond to the email below or future media adverts if interested.
White Ribbon Scotland,campaigns to involve more men in helping to address violence against women and ultimately, by playing our part and working to establish gender equality, in bringing this blight on our society to an end.
Davy Thompson, White Ribbon Scotland Campaign Director said
“We welcome the start of a new White Ribbon Status Project in Orkney and look forwards to recognising the work which will be done to involve more men in addressing the issue of violence against women with the actual award of White Ribbon Status”.
St Magnus Cathedral was floodlit orange on 25th November to commemorate Elimination of Violence Against Women Day and will be blue on 10th December – Human Rights Day.