People across the city have thrown their weight behind a campaign to Orange Wolverhampton and end violence against Women and Girls. The city is taking part in the United Nations' annual 16-day Orange the World crusade to end violence against women and girls. Individuals, groups and organisations have been encouraged to Go Orange and both raise awareness of the problem of violence against others, but also highlight the help and support that is available to victims in Wolverhampton.
The local campaign has been organised by the Wolverhampton Safeguarding Boards and Wolverhampton Domestic Violence Forum and supported by the Safer Wolverhampton Partnership.
It began on Friday (25 November) – International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – and continues until 10 December, UN Human Rights Day.
Dozens of organisations are taking part, from public sector bodies including the City of Wolverhampton Council, West Midlands Police and Wolverhampton Homes, to community groups, charities, schools and the University of Wolverhampton and the City of Wolverhampton College.
Supporters are getting involved in a range of ways, from sharing key campaign messages, turning their websites and social media channels orange to displaying banners, flying orange flags developed by students at the University of Wolverhampton and even turning their buildings orange – such as the outside of The Way Youth Zone on School Street.
Cheryl Garvey, CEO of The Way Youth Zone, said: "We’re proud to support Orange Wolverhampton. The campaign will raise awareness of violence against women and girls and help us to talk to our young people about gender issues.”
Individuals were encouraged to don orange clothes on Friday – Wear Orange day – while more than 5,000 orange ribbons have been distributed to people across the city to be worn with pride, including 2,500 to shoppers at the Wulfrun Centre on Friday. To find out more about the campaign, please visit www.wolverhamptonsafeguarding.org.uk.
Councillor Paul Sweet, the City of Wolverhampton Council's Cabinet Member for Public Health and Wellbeing, said: “It is tremendous to see so many people getting behind the Orange Wolverhampton campaign, and supporting the end of violence against women and girls.
“This is a crucial issue and one that the council and our partners are determined to address. It’s also not too late to get involved in the campaign, which continues until 10 December, so please think about how you can take part and help.”
He added: “It is important to stress that, while the international campaign acknowledges that the majority of victims and survivors of violence are female, and that women and girls are subjected to more severe and repeated violence, we know there are both female and male victims of violence, and so our campaign is about ending violence against everyone.”