Domestic abuse victims will be united tonight at a candlelit vigil in remembrance of their fellow victims who died at the hands of their partners.
They will be joined by victim support services, police, councillors, the public and survivors of domestic abuse at the annual event, organised by Independent Choices.
It marks the end of the United Nations’ Ending Violence Against Women Campaign – 16 days of action aimed at highlighting the issue and letting victims know how they can get help to escape their abusers. It has been running from November 25 until Human Rights Day today, December 10.
Councillor Sue Murphy, deputy leader of Manchester City Council, said: “Domestic abuse should no longer be a taboo, and we will only hope to be able to put an end to this problem when people are no longer afraid to talk about it, and so the more we can do to raise awareness of this issue the better.
“Sadly, far too many people know somebody who has been a victim of domestic abuse, and this event is an opportunity for us to let them and their families know we are thinking of them.”
One in four women will become a victim of domestic abuse in their lifetime and two women die each week at the hands of a partner or ex-partner. In Greater Manchester, 13% of victims are men, although there are many cases that go unreported.
But the introduction of new police policies such as ‘Clare’s Law’ (The Domestic Abuse Disclosure Scheme) gives people the right to check their abusive partners’ criminal records.
Jim Battle, Greater Manchester’s deputy police and crime commissioner, who will be attending, said: “The vigil is a time to remember those who have lost their lives at the hands of a partner or ex-partner, stand shoulder to shoulder with survivors of domestic abuse and send a message to victims still suffering in silence that you are not alone.
“Help is available, please come forward and get the help and support you need to break the cycle of abuse.”
Detective Chief Superintendent Vanessa Jardine, from Greater Manchester Police added: “This time of year often makes those who are victims of this horrible crime fearful and in dread.
“It is important that we come together and make them aware that they can free themselves from an abusive relationship.
“This vigil, which we will be attending, is to remember those that have been killed by their partners or continue to suffer from domestic abuse.”
The vigil will take place outside Bridgewater Hall at 5pm this evening.
You can also visit the GMP website for more information .