Domestic abuse sufferers took to the streets of Southall yesterday (November 27) to mark White Ribbon Day.
Virendra Sharma MP for Southall, DCI Colin Wingrove attended the event which included street theatre performed by the domestic abuse sufferers themselves.
The event took place outside Southall Town Hall and also included a film screening of ‘My Second name is Honour’, street stalls and a free course in tackling child sexual exploitation.
The day was organised by the Southall Partnership which includes the Southall Black Sisters, Southall Community Alliance, Ealing Community and Voluntary Service, Catalyst Housing, Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, Ealing Council and the Met Police.
White Ribbon Day is inspired by The White Ribbon Pledge lead by men who campaign to stop domestic violence against women.
Playwright Jennie Buckman from Giants Theatre Company in Ealing said: “I wrote the play, Unbroken, based on a well-known myth called Shahrazad which is about a young woman who tells 1001 stories to save her life from a despotic king. The story is then retold through the lives and experiences of today’s communities. In this instance I wrote the play in collaboration with the Southall Black Sisters to be interpreted by women from Southall who have suffered domestic abuse. These are their words and their stories woven into the plot of the ancient myth. It is incredibly moving to hear them bravely recounting traumatic experiences, None of these women are actresses and these experiences are real.”
Meena Patel, the operations manager at Southall Black Sisters said: “The women here have all escaped domestic abuse in Southall so to be able to demonstrate against this issue in this way on the very streets in which they suffered is staggeringly brave. Many of these women are still struggling with the aftermath of their abuse and trauma and are now dealing with depression and fear. For them to stand out here raising awareness of this appalling issue shows phenomenal strength.”
Virendra Sharma MP said: “In this area we have much evidence of domestic abuse from the Southall Black Sisters. The work being done by the Sisters in regards to raising awareness, providing incredible support, advice and safety to victims is absolutely crucial to the fight.
“Creating an environment where women are treated as equals and made to feel safe in our communities is the responsibility of society as a whole. The ruling system which governs the country to be administered by the local authorities must provide the resources to the organisations who are fighting for the rights of women being subjugated, beaten and abused.”