MARCH 2018_ NEWS ROUNDUP

March has been an exciting month for campaigning and the arts – we recognised International Women’s Day,  along with hundreds of thousands of others aross the globe who are standing together to work towards equality; together with Dafni and Pure PR we held an event for women living in refuges in London; we watched a stunning play written by survivors of sexual assault; attended the preview of an impactful film about the courageous Recy Taylor, and we announced this year’s UK SAYS NO MORE Week theme!

UK SAYS NO MORE Week 2018: May 21-27

K SAYS NO MORE Week (May 21-27) is a time for everyone – individuals, non-profit and corporate organisations, communities and groups across the UK – to unite and keep the conversation going around domestic abuse and sexual violence.

This year, we must all consider how we can be part of a united effort, thinking about #WhatICanDo. Learn more about how you can get involved here.

International Women’s Day

With 2018 marking 100 years since some women were given the right to vote in the UK, and following on from the Me Too and Time’s Up movements, International Women’s Day (8 March) seemed to hold even more weight than previous years. This years theme was #PressForProgress, a reminder that whilst large strides towards equality have been taken over recent years, there is still much to push for – the statistics tell us all we need to know. Using the hashtag #WhatICanDo, we focused on the numerous ways that we can all press for progress, including challenging stereotypes, campaigning and celebrating the women in our lives.

Celebrating YOU: Strength, Beauty & Survival

Offline, we celebrated International Women’s Day by hosting Celebrating YOU: Strength, Beauty & Survival in partnership with DAFNI, Pure PR and Miss Beez.. The event, held for Hestia’s female service users – many of whom have been living in Hestia’s domestic abuse refuges – provided an opportunity for physical and mental healing, with beauty treatments, entertainment and a programme of inspirational speakers. Treatments on the day included make up, manicure and nail services from mobile beauty therapists MissBeez, and hair styling by DAFNI’s expert team using the DAFNI original brush, as well as DAFNI’s new Limited Edition Hair Straightening Brush in Rose Gold. Those who attended were able to bring along their children, who were kept busy and on their feet by a children’s entertainer, while the grown ups sat back and relaxed. Speakers included Margaret V Aberdeen of ‘Break Free of Domestic Violence Forever’ and a number of Hestia’s service users telling their own stories of domestic abuse and their remarkable journeys to recovery, in addition to a meditation session from Dao Tran-Boyd and a performance from singer-songwriter Malory, who debuted her song ‘No More’, created specifically for the UK SAYS NO MORE campaign. We extend a massive thanks to all those involved on the day, and to all the wonderful, courageous women who came along.

NO MORE Billboard Arrives In Times Square

In order to mark NO MORE week in the US (4-10 March), a time to unify people in speaking out and taking action against domestic abuse and sexual violence, NO MORE took over Times Square with a vital message – we’re louder together. Seen by millions, the billboard aimed to encourage passerbys to take a stand and make their voices heard, whilst also offering solidarity and visibility to survivors on one of the largest and most vibrant stages in the world.

UK SAYS NO MORE Volunteer Talks Domestic Abuse With Stylist

One of our inspirational volunteers sat down this month with Stylist magazine to detail her own harrowing experiences of domestic abuse, shining a light on the fact that domestic abuse ‘comes in all shapes and colours’. As a survivor of physical, emotional and financial abuse, her powerful article reminds victims and survivors that they should not be ashamed of what has happened to them, as fault lies solely with the perpetrator, and reinforces that domestic abuse is not and should never considered a taboo. It’s real, it’s happening and it needs to be talked about. Thank you to Stylist magazine for listening and amplifying the voices of survivors. Read the full article here.

Mother’s Day

This Mother’s Day, we took the opportunity to continue the celebration of women everywhere who inspire us to be our best selves, both those with and without children. In addition, we wanted to shift the focus slightly onto the relationship between child and parent, and how as parents we can speak to our children about healthy relationships, consent and respect. Mother of 2 Dao shared her story on parenting last year, take a read here.

Foreign Body play at the VAULT festival

Writer and performer Imogen Butler-Cole’s production of Foreign Body is a uniquely told piece of theatre depicting the healing and forgiveness process after sexual assault. The play is told from her perspective as a survivor, incorporating the voices of 8 other survivors of sexual assault, offering up a remarkable portrayal of the myriad of emotions and hurdles they go through on their journey of recovery. We caught the play at London’s VAULT festival with a post-show Q&A with Imogen plus two other guests discussing psychology and recovery, and how the play itself played a role in the recovery of those involved. Learn more and see upcoming shows here.

Introduction of ‘Clare’s Law’ in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland has introduced the Domestic Violence & Abuse Disclosure scheme, which means that members of the public can enquire as to whether their partner has any previous history of domestic abuse.

The law – also known as ‘Clare’s Law’ as it was introduced in the UK after 36-year-old Clare Wood was murdered by her partner in 2009 – could save the lives of hundreds of people whose partners have previous history of domestic abuse. We are really pleased by this news as everyone has the right to know if their partner has previously been convicted of domestic abuse.

The Rape of Recy Taylor premieres in Soho, London

We were fortunate enough to attend the UK premiere and post-film Q&A discussion of The Rape of Recy Taylor, on March 22. Recy Taylor was an incredible woman and the film is a stunning portrayal of her story and the aftermath. Recy was a young mother who was gang raped gang raped by six white boys in 1944 Alabama – few women spoke up for fear of their lives, but Recy bravely chose to identify her rapists. The film exposes a legacy of physical abuse of black women, and we hope the film inspires vital conversations about issues around sexual violence, power and race which are still so hugely relevant today. Learn more about the film here.


 

Interested in becoming a partner of UK SAYS NO MORE?

We’d love to hear from you! You can contact us by email at uksaysnomore@hestia.org or by phone at 020 7378 3170.

March 2018: News Roundup