Women's voluntary organisations rebuilding city's shattered lives
YESTERDAY was the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women – or White Ribbon Day.
Globally, violence against women takes many forms and the UN estimates that up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.
To put it even more starkly: women aged 15-44 are more at risk from rape and domestic abuse than from cancer, car accidents, war and malaria, according to World Bank data.
It's easy to hear these kinds of statistics and think that this is something that's happening to women somewhere else, but sadly that's not the case. In the UK, on average two women each week are killed by a partner or ex-partner and at least 80,000 women are raped each year.
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The first women's refuge opened in the city in 1974 and Nottingham Rape Crisis Centre and Women's Aid Advice Centre (now WAIS) both opened their doors for the first time during the 1970s, followed by Roshni Asian Women's Aid in 1985.
These organisations still exist, based at Nottingham Women's Centre, and we are proud to support them in their work. It is women's organisations like these that help women and children to rebuild lives that would otherwise be shattered by violence and abuse. It is also organisations like these that continue to face a very tough funding climate and the real risk of cuts to services.
Much of this work has been driven by women but it's important to recognise that violence against women affects society as a whole. It's a credit to Nottingham that it has such a high profile in the city through the Man Enough campaign. Also, the announcement that Chris Cutland, outgoing chief executive of WAIS, has been appointed as the deputy police and crime commissioner is indicative of the huge emphasis being placed on tackling this issue – from all sides.