Manchester comes together to remember victims of domestic violence

By James Booker

Citizens from around Greater Manchester gathered in Barbirolli Square on Friday night to remember the victims of domestic abuse.

The service was a short candlelit gathering to mark White Ribbon Day, which commemorates those people, both women and men, who have suffered or succumbed to domestic violence at some point in their lives.

The White Ribbon Vigil was hosted by Councillor Suzanne Richards, Manchester’s lead member for women’s issues.

Cllr Richards said: “It’s been a tough year for the victims and those around them, but that makes people more determined than ever to tackle domestic violence.”

A touching and personal speech was also made by Sarah Summers, whose sister died at the hands of a violent ex-partner three years ago.

She told of the violence, manipulation and eventual brutal murder of her sister, but added: “If anything good can come from my sister’s death, it’s that people can see how she suffered and will not be afraid to fight the problem of domestic violence.”

Cllr Richards added that Sarah was “the human voice behind the statistics”, and hopes her story will highlight how real the problem is.

Figures show that one in four women and one in six men experience domestic abuse in their lifetime and two women across the country are killed each week by their partner or ex partner.

This vigil starts 16 days of action and campaigning against domestic abuse across the world as part of the End The Fear campaign, which is supported by Greater Manchester Police and the 10 Greater Manchester authorities.

Cllr Richards also said: “This event is all about raising awareness of the issue and encouraging people to discuss it, as well as letting victims – and their families – know we are thinking of them.”

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