Worcestershire's 16 Days of Action Against Gender-based Violence Launches on Friday

The annual 16 Days of Action Against Gender-based Violence will this year focus on making employers more aware of the key issues and how it might impact their employees.

Organisations across Worcestershire are supporting the national campaign and will come together for the official launch at the University of Worcester on Friday, November 25.

The launch will showcase examples of good practice from local employers, including the University of Worcester, which is home to the National Centre for the Study and Prevention of Violence and Abuse (NCSPVA).

Professor Liz Gilchrist, from the University, said: "The University of Worcester is delighted to play a leading role in these events to support the 16 Days of Action. We are heavily involved in research and teaching in this area and will be reporting some recent findings and launching a new programme of study on Friday and look forward to taking this forward with our practitioner and participant colleagues."

Following the launch event there will be 16 days of focused campaigning and awareness raising.

Martin Lakeman, Worcestershire Strategic Co-ordinator for Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence, said: "Last year Worcestershire was awarded White Ribbon status as a county for our ongoing work in raising awareness in this area. Our own drive in this area in very apparent in that Worcestershire makes up 28% of all pledges on the national White Ribbon site. That is some achievement and something we should be very proud of.

"Pledges can be made by going to the white ribbon campaign page. Pledging only takes a minute and is really important and sends out a clear message that violence and abuse is not acceptable.

"We are promoting a social media campaign that we want the public to get behind, entitled #LeadersSayNO. It has the support of many of the Chief Executives across Worcestershire who have all pledged their support by recording a short clip supporting the White Ribbon campaign and saying why. These clips will be posted on Twitter throughout the 16 days of the campaign. I am encouraging the public to get behind this imitative and record a personal message of support and post on Twitter/Facebook. Everyone's a leader in their own right and we want young people to join in making a stand against abuse in all its forms, we hope that this will go viral on social media."

During the 16 Days of Action there will be a special event encouraging people to "walk a mile in her shoes" by taking part in a mile-long walk through the centre of Worcester raising awareness of domestic violence.

Taking place on Friday, December 9th, the premise of the event is for men to wear heels on the walk, which starts from The Hive at 10am, and pledge their active support to never commit, condone or remain silent about gender-based violence.

To find out more contact Esther Dobson on e.dobson@worc.ac.uk